Ben Simmons Suspended For Season Opener Against Pelicans

The Philadelphia 76ers have suspended Ben Simmons for one game due to conduct detrimental to the team, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. He will miss the team’s season opener against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Simmons, who recently rejoined the Sixers after clearing COVID protocol, was tossed out of the team practice Tuesday morning for “not being engaged,” according to Philadelphia Sixers beat reporter Keith Pompey.

ESPN Insider, Adrian Wojnarowski also reports that Simmons refused to participate in specific drills.

“I just thought he was a distraction today,” Sixers head coach Doc Rivers said following practice per NBC Sports. “I didn’t think he wanted to do what everybody else was doing. It was early (in practice). It wasn’t a big deal. I just told him he should leave then, and we went on with practice.”

Per ESPN, when Rivers was asked if Simmons would return to practice “possibly as soon as Thursday or Friday morning,” Rivers said that, “we’re gonna expect that, yes.”

“Every day, every single moment, I’m going to give Ben a chance to join the team, and be part of the team,” Rivers said. “He’s under contract to be part of the team, and that’s not going to change. Sometimes it happens quick and guys join back in, and sometimes it doesn’t. I’ve been in both situations, and I’m fine with that.

On top of the recent suspension, Simmons has also been reportedly fined $1.4 million for missing all four of the team’s preseason games and has “levied numerous team fines for missed practices, on-court workouts and meetings.”