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The Ben Simmons saga reached new heights on Tuesday afternoon. As the Philadelphia 76ers participated in their final practice before the regular-season opener, Simmons decided he didn't want to be a full-time participant.

After being told to join a defensive drill numerous times, Simmons refused to listen to Sixers head coach Doc Rivers. Therefore, Rivers figured it would be best to toss the veteran guard out of the gym.

Simmons getting kicked out of practice on Tuesday led to a one-game suspension. Now, he's forced to sit out of Wednesday's matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans. Leading up to the start of the 2021-2022 regular season, it was unclear if Simmons was going to suit up and actually play for the 76ers.

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Not only has Simmons reportedly expressed having little interest in playing for the 76ers again behind the scenes, but Rivers was unsure whether the three-time All-Star would be ready to take the court on Wednesday after only participating in three practices since returning. 

Tuesday's suspension makes Rivers' decision a lot easier, but it also adds more question marks to the situation. Simmons' unwillingness to participate in team drills on Tuesday makes it clear he doesn't want to play for the Sixers. Regardless of Simmons' lack of interest, Rivers clarifies the three-time All-Star is welcome to join the team once again after the Sixers return from New Orleans.

"I'm gonna give him every day, every single moment. I'm gonna give Ben a chance to join the team and be a part of the team," said Rivers after Tuesday's practice session. "He's under contract to be a part of the team, and so that's not going to change. Sometimes it happens quick, and guys join back in. And sometimes it doesn't. I've been in both situations, and I'm fine with that. But at the end of the day, as a coach, I have to protect the team. It's team-first, and then we get to the other part. Today, I just thought it was more important to focus on the team."

Rivers described Simmons as a "distraction" on Tuesday. Although Simmons' actions led to him being thrown out of practice, the 76ers head coach downplayed the situation and made it clear it wasn't a huge deal. And with that, he hopes the three-time All-Star returns to the team motivated to play.

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