1:22pm: The Sixers have fined Simmons about $1.4MM for missing the team’s four preseason games and have also fined him for the various practices, workouts, and meetings he missed, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter links), who says the 25-year-old hasn’t earned any money since he returned last week.
Wojnarowski adds that Philadelphia hasn’t changed its stance about not wanting to trade Simmons for role players. Even after today’s incident, no one should expect a quick resolution, says Woj.
11:13am: The Sixers have suspended Ben Simmons for one game due to conduct detrimental to the team, the club announced today in a press release. As a result, Simmons will miss Philadelphia’s regular season opener in New Orleans on Wednesday night.
The 76ers’ announcement was light on details, but according to reports from Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter links), the team handed out the suspension after Simmons was kicked out of Tuesday’s practice by head coach Doc Rivers for not being engaged. He was thrown out early in the practice when he essentially refused to participate in the next session, Woj adds (via Twitter).
“He was a distraction today,” Rivers said of Simmons, per Serena Winters (Twitter link). “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 then, and we went on with practice.”
Simmons, who sought a trade this offseason, was a holdout this fall and missed the first two weeks of training camp and the preseason before reporting to the Sixers last Monday. He was cleared to join the team for practices on Friday, but we still don’t know with any certainty if or when he’ll play in games. The belief is that he reported to the 76ers in order to stop losing money for missing practices and games, not because his desire to be traded has wavered in the slightest.
Tuesday’s incident certainly doesn’t bode well for the odds of the three-time All-Star suiting up anytime soon. Sources tell Wojnarowski (Twitter link) that Simmons’ reluctance to “physically and mentally engage” has been a consistent theme since he resumed practicing with the club.
“At the end of the day, our job is not to babysit somebody,” Embiid said. “… I’d be willing to babysit if someone wants to listen, but that’s not my my job.”