The Philadelphia 76ers and Ben Simmons seemed to be reaching an agreement after Simmons showed up to the 76ers facilities for practices. However, the seeming good news was not to be as Malika Andrews of ESPN reported that Simmons was suspended for their opening game against the New Orleans Pelicans.
The 76ers say Ben Simmons has been suspended for one game for “detrimental conduct” to the team.— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) October 19, 2021
Simmons will not play the 76ers’ season opener at New Orleans Wednesday night.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the event that led to Simmons’ suspension was a refusal to participate in a team practice. Simmons was directed by Sixers head coach Doc Rivers to participate in a defensive drill, which Simmons refused to do.
Sources: Doc Rivers asked Ben Simmons to join a defensive drill today. Simmons refused. Rivers asked again. Simmons said no again.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 19, 2021
Rivers then told Simmons he should go home, and Simmons dropped the ball and left.
When asked about it in post-practice availability, Rivers said that he felt Simmons was a distraction, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that Simmons has yet to be paid since returning to the team, and Simmons has been fined for a myriad of different reasons so far since his return, including missing several practices, workouts, and team meetings.
ESPN Sources: The 76ers have fined Ben Simmons $1.4M for his absence from four preseason games (360K each) and levied numerous team fines for missed practices, on-court workouts and meetings. He hasn’t earned any money since returning to the team on October 11.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 19, 2021
Simmons’ name has been repeatedly linked with the Portland Trail Blazers, as Daryl Morey has his eyes on Damian Lillard. However, Lillard shut down any speculation that he might consider leaving the Blazers any time soon.