Doc Rivers threw Ben Simmons from today’s Sixers practice due to Ben’s lack of engagement and his being a distraction to the team. Doc also suspended Simmons from the season opener in New Orleans this Wednesday. Rivers told Ben to leave early on in practice after he failed to participate in a defensive drill, per Shams Charania on Twitter.
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
Today would’ve been Simmons first address to the media since his arrival in Philadelphia last Tuesday, however, with his failure to comply in practice, his media availability walked out the door with him. Doc Rivers and Joel Embiid still spoke with the media and addressed Simmons behavior in today’s practice. Rivers said, “I thought he was a distraction today. I don’t think he wanted to do what everyone else was doing. I’m going to give Ben every chance to be a part of the team…as a coach I have to put my team first.” Joel then said, “At this point, I don’t really care about that man. He does whatever he wants…I’m only focussed on trying tot make the team better, win some games, play hard every night…our job is not to babysit.”
Joel and the rest of the team are certainly getting annoyed with Simmons and his actions. It’s better for them to get Simmons out of Philly sooner rather than later before things get even worse (although I don’t know how they can get much worse). The Sixers season tips-off tomorrow in New Orleans, without Ben Simmons. The question remains if he will be with the team for their first home matchup on Friday against the Nets.