Many questioned whether Ben Simmons would play in the Philadelphia 76ers' 2021-2022 season opener on Wednesday night against the New Orleans Pelicans. Although Simmons returned to Philadelphia last Monday to take steps to re-join the team, his intentions were unclear.
On Sunday, Simmons returned to the practice court to play alongside his teammates for the first time this offseason. The following day, the veteran guard returned to the floor. When asked whether Simmons would play in the team's opener on Wednesday or not, Doc Rivers responded with uncertainty.
"I have no idea," Rivers admitted. "Honestly, I haven't even thought about it much. You know, when it comes, I'll make a decision. But I'm just gonna wait and see and watch. The spirit has been so good, and we're just gonna keep that going."
Ben Simmons was expected to join the Sixers for practice for a third-straight session on Tuesday. After, he was expected to address the media for the first time since the 76ers dropped Game 7 against the Atlanta Hawks last year.
However, the anticipated press conference never happened -- and Ben Simmons' 2021-2022 season debut will be placed on hold after what transpired during practice on Tuesday afternoon.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Simmons was asked to join a defensive drill on Tuesday. After refusing, Doc Rivers told the three-time All-Star to leave the practice. The veteran guard then walked out of the session, and a suspension followed.
Moments before practice concluded on Tuesday, the Sixers announced that Simmons would receive a one-game suspension due to conduct detrimental to the team.
With that, the star guard is guaranteed to miss Wednesday's matchup in New Orleans. Now, the big question is, will he return to practice on Thursday ahead of Friday's matchup against Brooklyn? Or will he resume his holdout? The Sixers will find out soon enough.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.