The Philadelphia 76ers returned to their practice facility on Wednesday morning following Monday's big preseason win over the Brooklyn Nets. While the Sixers came out on top with stellar victory, the win was hardly talked about following the game. Instead, the focus was on Ben Simmons as he arrived in Philly for the first time since the Sixers dropped Game 7 against the Atlanta Hawks in the playoffs last season.
Since making his return after holding out from several weeks of practice and three preseason games, Simmons submitted a COVID-19 test as required by the NBA's health and safety protocol. In addition, he participated in a physical and had several meetings with President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey, General Manager Elton Brand, and head coach Doc Rivers.
Despite making his return to the practice facility on Tuesday, Simmons was not a part of team activities on Wednesday as he hasn't been cleared by the NBA just yet. Therefore, Simmons' teammates haven't received a chance to speak to him.
It's been quite some time since members of the Sixers roster planned to fly out to Los Angeles in hopes of meeting with the three-time All-Star before getting rejected by Simmons. So, it was unclear where everybody's heads were at on Wednesday when they returned to practice. When asked if he believes Simmons owes the team some sort of apology or not -- 76ers veteran Danny Green weighed in on the situation.
"I mean, if he does, he does -- if he doesn't, he doesn't," Green explained. "That doesn't matter to us at this point. We just want everybody to come here, show up, and do their part. Do their jobs. I'm not asking him to do anything different than he normally does. Show up to work and do what you normally do because what he normally does, we're very effective. And we're very good at it. We were the number one team in the East. I'm not asking him to shoot jump shots. Just come in, be a pro, do your job, and that's what we expect. If you apologize, it's cool. But you guys work with people every day, and you don't expect an apology for people not showing up because of family issues, sickness, or whatever it may be. They come in, and they do their job."
From the moment media day started back in late September, Sixers personnel made it clear that they wanted Ben Simmons back in the mix despite his attempt to move on. Now that Simmons is finally in town and contemplating playing or not -- 76ers players continue to make it known that they have no hard feelings towards Simmons as they just want the productive point guard back on the court and helping them win games.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.