Back in the summertime, Ben Simmons figured he wanted a fresh start after the Sixers dropped Game 7 against the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the playoffs. Therefore, his agent requested a trade on his behalf.
The Sixers looked over some offers but never found a trade worth making. In an attempt to force the Sixers to settle for less, Simmons skipped out on training camp and the preseason. Philly never blinked during the stare-down.
So, Simmons has returned to the 76ers. However, his return has caused even more drama as the star guard has been reportedly disengaged in practice as he makes it clear he isn't willing to play for the Sixers right now.
Simmons' antics led to the three-time All-Star getting tossed from practice just one day ahead of Philly's season opener against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday. As his status for the matchup was already up in the air, a one-game suspension confirmed that Simmons would not play for Philadelphia on Wednesday.
His absence during the Sixers' road matchup against the Pelicans on Wednesday offered New Orleans fans an opportunity to troll the opponent at the Smoothie King Center during the first outing of the regular season.
"Where's Ben Simmons" chants were short-lived but loud on Wednesday night as Sixers' second-year guard Tyrese Maxey attempted a pair of free throws. As the Simmons saga has been a dark cloud hovering over Philadelphia for quite some time now, Pelicans fans figured they had a good opportunity to remind the 76ers that they have lost the attention of their three-time All-Star.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.