Ben Simmons kicked out of practice and didn’t speak to media, plus more from Doc Rivers and Joel Embiid
There are over 6,000 Sixers fans waiting on YouTube for the NBC Sports Philadelphia broadcast of the Ben Simmons press conference that was scheduled to happen at noon today. They are all still waiting and the stream has not started. Next thing you know Shams drops this bomb that Ben Simmons has been suspended for one game by the Philadelphia 76ers.
Ben Simmons has been suspended for one game due to conduct detrimental to the team, which means that Simmons will miss tomorrow night’s season opener in New Orleans against the Pelicans.
Now, we have no idea if Ben Simmons will be speaking with the media today. Here’s the 76ers official statement:
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any crazier, apparently Doc Rivers threw Ben Simmons out of practice today and the suspension came shortly thereafter.
So just to be clear, Ben Simmons was scheduled to speak, got thrown out of practice, hasn’t showed up to his media availability, and now has been suspended one game from the team.
What the hell is going on? The 76ers need to get everything in order at Camden. This is an absolute circus. The crazy part of me finds it absolutely hilarious. The fan side of me finds it to be insane and the 76ers are totally fumbling the ball here trying to find peace with Simmons.
So what can we make of this? I think it’s pretty evident at this point that Ben Simmons returned to Philadelphia to stop the fines that we was getting while holding out. The 76ers were hopeful that with his return, they would be able convince Ben Simmons that playing for the 76ers was the right move. When push finally came to shove and Ben Simmons was supposed to speak with the media, he refused to do so. He was kicked out of practice and then suspended for his actions.
Woj is continuing to provide updates. Simmons apparently hasn’t been physically or mentally engaged with the team since his return.
The 76ers really screwed this up. How could you possibly schedule a press conference and not have any clue how that situation would play out? We knew there were no answers about Ben Simmons. As of yesterday, no one even knew if Simmons was going to play tomorrow. How is that even possible?
After Ben Simmons decided to not show up for media availability, NBC Sports Philadelphia changed the preview image to a Doc Rivers press conference coming soon.
Before we dive into what will be said during that press conference, remember this clip from yesterday where Doc Rivers said that Simmons’ team chemistry with the team will “keep getting better” and that he has “been in this situation before” and “knows how it works”.
Rivers stated that he will give Ben Simmons an opportunity every day to rejoin the team and that he will remain consistent with that message and it won’t change. Today however, Doc Rivers said that Simmons wasn’t cooperating and he decided to remove him from practice and just focus on the team.
Rivers continued to say that “everyday has been a surprise” and that the 76ers expect Ben Simmons to be at practice on Thursday. It’s hard to think that any other team in the NBA is watching this unfold and would actually want Ben Simmons. Maybe they are holding out hope that Simmons will change his ways once he leaves Philadelphia? I wouldn’t. This has been a trend from Simmons before he’s even arrived in Philadelphia. There’s no changing anything.
After Doc Rivers spoke, Joel Embiid took the podium and really didn’t have anything to say. Since he’s been back, nothing has changed, the guys have been having fun. He’s been focused on the guys that want to be with the 76ers and want to be “humble” and “working hard”. Embiid continued and said that Ben Simmons “does whatever he wants” but he’s not focused on that because the guys that have been here are developing great chemistry. Embiid is simply excited to play basketball this season and thinks the season will be fun, he continued by saying “I don’t know whats going on” and that Ben Simmons “was suspended for his conduct.”
The media tried to get more information from Embiid but he continued to reiterate that he doesn’t really care and that his job is to focus on the team and win some games, and that he is “not here to babysit anybody.” Embiid said he would babysit “if someone wants to listen” but that’s not his job.
That’s it. Embiid is done talking about Ben Simmons. Plain and simple. We should respect that. Season starts tomorrow.
UPDATE FROM SHAMS:
Ben Simmons is such a fucking baby. Give me a break.