In today’s latest Ben Simmons drama, the Philadelphia 76ers’ disgruntled point guard was kicked out of practice by head coach Doc Rivers for refusing to participate in a workout session, and as a result of the incident, the Sixers suspended Simmons for one game.
Simmons won’t suit up for the season opener on Wednesday when the 76ers visit New Orleans to play the Pelicans. There’s no word from the 76ers on whether Simmons will be suspended for more than one game.
Simmons requested a trade in the offseason, but the 76ers were slow to honor his wish. Both parties want to part ways, but the 76ers want a lucrative package for the former #1 NBA draft pick. Meanwhile, other teams don’t want to sell the farm to acquire someone with a max contract who is damaged goods.
Sure, if a team can pick Simmons up on the cheap, they’d gladly take a flier on him. However, that won’t happen for the 76ers’ current asking price.
Simmons shocked everyone when he showed up unannounced at the 76ers practice facility last week. After he cleared COVID-19 protocols, he joined the team for practice. Rivers assigned Simmons to a spot with the second team in drills and scrimmages. Simmons didn’t talk to his teammates in the locker room and quickly exited the facility after the first two practices.
Simmons showed up for a third-straight practice on Tuesday morning before his tiff with Rivers.
Embiid: Not a Babysitter
In recent weeks, Rivers took the high road in dealing with Simmons. However, there’s a huge rift between Simmons and teammate Joel Embiid.
Embiid, a four-time All-Star who was born in Cameroon, believes the 76ers did everything possible to help build a team around Simmons. However, a selfish Simmons put his own needs first, which caused a major divide between Simmons and his teammates, especially Embiid.
Embiid didn’t mince his words when he was asked about why Simmons was suspended.
“At this point I don’t care about that man,” said Embiid in today’s press conference.
Embiid continued to use harsh but honest language to describe the locker room’s growing discontent for their soon-to-be ex-teammate.
“Our job is not to babysit somebody,” added Embiid. “We don’t get paid to babysit somebody. I’m sure my teammates feel that way.”
Joel is not here for the babysitting 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/bJM0GpcwTN
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) October 19, 2021