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The Sixers are scheduled to begin the 2021-2022 NBA season on Wednesday night. With a regular-season opener against the New Orleans Pelicans, Philly's first matchup originally had a lot of hype attached to it.

Unfortunately, the Pelicans will be missing their star, Zion Williamson. And on the Sixers' side, they are dealing with turmoil as their three-time All-Star Ben Simmons won't be with the team as he's suspended for one game.

On Tuesday, Simmons was kicked out of practice for being an unwilling participant. As he was just going through the motions and showing a severe lack of interest, he was told to go home. Shortly after, he was suspended due to conduct detrimental to the team, according to a press release from the 76ers.

After Tuesday's practice session, Sixers head coach Doc Rivers addressed the media. While he described Ben Simmons as a distraction, he still made it clear that the three-time All-Star is welcome to join the team once again for practice when they return from New Orleans. Whether Simmons will do so or not is unclear -- but Rivers reiterated on Wednesday that whatever happens -- he will continue to fight to keep Ben Simmons on board with the team.

"My job is to get everyone, including Ben, to see how close we were [last season]," Rivers said on Wednesday in New Orleans. "Also, the business side of it, there are times when guys want to get traded for whatever reason. I get that. I've been around this long enough, but then you look at your team, if we can do it and make our team better, yeah, but if you can't, you fight to keep the guys you've had. It's a predicament that we're in, and that part is no fun."

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Last season, Ben Simmons helped the Sixers notch the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. After Simmons' rough second-round series contributed to the 76ers falling short to the fifth-seeded Atlanta Hawks, the star guard mysteriously searched for a trade out of town. And unfortunately for him, his request never went through.

"I took this team because a lot of people didn't think that we could do what we did last year," Rivers continued. "We obviously wanted to do more, but we took a team last year, and so you're coming into this summer thinking 'we're close' and not to allow the residual effects of one loss to overshadow what you actually did. Unfortunately, that has happened."

Despite returning to the Sixers this past weekend, Ben Simmons has constantly made it apparent that he wants out of Philadelphia. Meanwhile, Philly's front office has continued to show a reluctance to trade him. 

"We get to play right now. Ben's not," Rivers said. "I want Ben to be playing. That's his job. I don't like any player losing money. There's so many things about this I don't like, but that doesn't mean you still don't have to do your job, and that's the tough part."

Simmons signed a multi-year extension in 2019. Contractually, his days in Philly aren't up for quite some time. Doc Rivers reportedly told the Sixers guard back in August that it's in his contract to play for the 76ers, and nothing about that will change. A couple of months later, Rivers sends the disgruntled guard the same message. 

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_