Ben Simmons was supposed to talk to the media on Tuesday for the first time since ending his holdout, but that was cancelled due to some unexpected drama at practice.
The Philadelphia 76ers suspended Simmons for one game due to “conduct detrimental to the team.” He will not play in the Sixers’ first game of the season against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night.
The Sixers didn’t release any details about what happened, but the incident reportedly took place at the practice right before Simmons was supposed to talk to the media. That session was cancelled and hasn’t been rescheduled yet.
Doc Rivers threw Simmons out of practice
Details about the incident did start to trickle out. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that head coach Doc Rivers threw Simmons out of practice.
Rivers spoke to the media about Simmons for a few minutes and confirmed that he told Simmons to leave practice because “he didn’t want to do what everyone else is doing.” He valiantly tried to play off the incident as “no big deal.”
Unfortunately, it is kind of a big deal when your team’s second-most important player gets himself thrown out of one of his first practices after a long holdout mere days before the season begins.
As for what Simmons didn’t want to do during practice, The Athletic’s Shams Charania says Simmons refused to do defensive drills with the rest of the team.
Joel Embiid is over Simmons
Joel Embiid, the Sixers’ most important player and previously one of Simmons’ supporters, spoke to the media after Simmons’ suspension. He said that he’s pretty much done with Simmons.
Simmons, who hasn’t done any press since June, will have to talk to the media eventually. And when he does, there will be so, so much to talk about. Here’s a list:
The end of the 2020-2021 playoffs
His shooting woes
The trade demand
Reportedly turning away teammates who wanted to talk with him about returning to the team
Reportedly saying he no longer wants to play with Embiid
The end of his holdout
His obvious lack of interest during Monday’s practice
Getting thrown out of practice and suspended
And that’s not even everything. When this media conference finally happens, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be a three-ring circus.