Sixers suspend Ben Simmons for 1 game, will miss season opener vs. Pelicans

Ben Simmons was supposed to talk to the media on Tuesday for the first time since ending his holdout, but that was cancelled due to some unexpected drama at practice. 

The Philadelphia 76ers suspended Simmons for one game due to "conduct detrimental to the team." He will not play in the Sixers' first game of the season against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night.

— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) October 19, 2021

The Sixers didn't release any details about what happened, but the incident reportedly took place at the practice right before Simmons was supposed to talk to the media. That session was cancelled and hasn't been rescheduled yet.

Doc Rivers threw Simmons out of practice

Details about the incident did start to trickle out. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that head coach Doc Rivers threw Simmons out of practice. 

Sixers coach Doc Rivers threw Ben Simmons out of practice today and the suspension came shortly thereafter, sources tell ESPN.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 19, 2021

Rivers spoke to the media about Simmons for a few minutes and confirmed that he told Simmons to leave practice because "he didn't want to do what everyone else is doing." He valiantly tried to play off the incident as "no big deal."

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

“I thought he was a distraction today. I told him, You should leave Ben”

-Doc Rivers

— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) October 19, 2021

Doc Rivers addressed sending Ben Simmons home from practice today.

(via @NBCSPhilly)

— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) October 19, 2021

Rivers: “My job as a coach is to keep getting guys to try to buy in…unfortunately this is tougher, but that’s my job”

— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) October 19, 2021

Unfortunately, it is kind of a big deal when your team's second-most important player gets himself thrown out of one of his first practices after a long holdout mere days before the season begins.

As for what Simmons didn't want to do during practice, The Athletic's Shams Charania says Simmons refused to do defensive drills with the rest of the team. 

Sources: Doc Rivers asked Ben Simmons to join a defensive drill today. Simmons refused. Rivers asked again. Simmons said no again.

Rivers then told Simmons he should go home, and Simmons dropped the ball and left.

— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 19, 2021

Joel Embiid is over Simmons

Joel Embiid, the Sixers' most important player and previously one of Simmons' supporters, spoke to the media after Simmons' suspension. He said that he's pretty much done with Simmons.

"At this point I don't care about that man." 🤯🤯🤯

— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) October 19, 2021

Embiid: “I’d be willing to babysit if someone wants to listen, but that’s not my my job”

— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) October 19, 2021

Simmons reportedly fined $1.4 million

Tuesday's drama wasn't done yet. According to Woj, the Sixers have fined Simmons $1.4 million for missing four preseason games and various meetings and practices. 

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, who hasn't done any press since June, will have to talk to the media eventually. And when he does, there will be so, so much to talk about. Here's a list:

  • The end of the 2020-2021 playoffs.

  • His shooting woes. 

  • The trade demand. 

  • The holdout. 

  • Reportedly turning away teammates who wanted to talk with him about returning to the team. 

  • Reportedly saying he no longer wants to play with Embiid.

  • The end of his holdout.

  • His obvious lack of interest during Monday's practice.

  • Getting thrown out of practice and suspended.

And that's not even everything. When this media conference finally happens, it's pretty much guaranteed to be a three-ring circus. 

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