Ben Simmons‘ holdout from the Philadelphia 76ers may not have lasted very long, but the drama is far from over. Today, the team suspended the three-time All-Star for the season opener.
The team announced that the suspension was being passed down for “conduct detrimental to the team.” Shortly after that announcement, it was reported that Simmons had been thrown out of practice by head coach Doc Rivers.
Right now, it’s still not totally clear what happened today. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski shed a bit of light on the situation moments ago.
“Simmons’ reluctance to physically and mentally engage with the Sixers since his return has been a consistent theme,” he reports. After practice, Rivers called Simmons “a distraction today.”
Simmons’ reluctance to physically and mentally engage with the Sixers since his return has been a consistent theme, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/bG1Cs2EuZ4
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 19, 2021
“He didn’t want to do what everyone else is doing,” Rivers added. It’s clear that this situation is growing even more untenable, even with Simmons reporting to practice.
Rivers: “i just thought he was a distraction today, he didn’t want to do what everyone else is doing”
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) October 19, 2021
The Philadelphia 76ers open their 2021-22 season on Wednesday night, with an 8 p.m. ET road tip at the New Orleans Pelicans. It will be the team’s first game since Simmons’ disappearing act in the Game 7 Eastern Conference Semifinal loss to the Atlanta Hawks. That came, and the fallout from it, helped lead to this offseason’s consternation and today’s situation.
It is unclear if this will lead to the trade that Ben Simmons desires, the way that James Harden’s antics early last season ultimately helped get him moved from the Houston Rockets. Of course, most suspected that Harden would return to his MVP-level play with the Brooklyn Nets, which wound up being the case. Simmons’ stock as an NBA superstar has never been as low as it is right now, after what happened in the playoffs and with his behavior since.