CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — Ben Simmons has been suspended by the Philadelphia 76ers for one game due to what they called conduct detrimental to the team. Simmons will miss the 76ers’ season opener Wednesday night at New Orleans.
“I just thought he was a distraction today,” coach Doc Rivers said Tuesday after practice. “I didn’t think he wanted to do what everybody else was doing. It was early. It wasn’t a big deal. I just told him he should leave. We went on with practice.”
The three-time All-Star guard was a holdout in training camp in the wake of his offseason trade demand. He reported last week and practiced Sunday and Monday with the Sixers.
Simmons lingered outside the huddle, dribbled a basketball and looked uninterested during a team huddle at Monday’s practice, where he did not practice with the first team.
Sixers All-Star center Joel Embiid said Tuesday he wasn’t here to “babysit” Simmons.
“At this point, I don’t care about that man,” Embiid said. “He does whatever he wants.”
The 25-year-old from Australia had four years and $147 million left on his max contract when he decided he wanted a trade.
“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. Sometimes it doesn’t. I’ve been in both situations and I’m fine with that.”
Simmons did not make his scheduled media availability Tuesday. Rivers said Simmons would be welcome to return to practice. The Sixers play their home opener Friday.