The latest on disgruntled Ben Simmons’ suspension from Philadelphia 76ers

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Ben Simmons has made known his displeasure with the Philadelphia 76ers, after he requested a trade over the summer. He skipped all of training camp, but then reported to the team recently. But since then, it has not been without drama, as Simmons appeared disinterested when he was participating and skipped the team huddle after they broke practice.

The 76ers, which entered last season with NBA Finals aspirations, finished first in the Eastern Conference with a 49-23 record. They cruised through the first round, beating the Washington Wizards. Philadelphia then fell, however, to the Atlanta Hawks in seven games in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Now, there’s doubt about whether Simmons will play again for the 76ers and it could affect the team’s chemistry and hopes for a deep playoff run.

Ben Simmons takes part in a practice at the NBA basketball team's facility.

Ben Simmons takes part in a practice at the NBA basketball team’s facility.

Here’s everything we know.

Why was Simmons suspended?

On Tuesday, the 76ers announced they were suspending Simmons for one game for conduct detrimental to the team. Simmons was thrown out of practice for not being engaged.

“I thought he was a distraction,” Sixers coach Doc Rivers told reporters after practice. “I didn’t think he wanted to do what everyone 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.”

When will Simmons play?

Simmons will miss at least the first game of the 76ers’ season, which will take place Wednesday night at the New Orleans Pelicans because of the suspension. It is unclear if — based on the time Simmons missed over the offseason and his practice participation — 76ers coach will ask Simmons to suit up for future Philadelphia games. After their opener, the 76ers play next at home on Friday, against the Brooklyn Nets.

What happened at Simmons’ first practice with the team?

After reporting to the 76ers last week, reporters on hand for media availability at Simmons’ first practice saw that Simmons had a cellphone in his pocket while the team worked on light defensive drills. He also did not participate in the team huddle.

As most Philadelphia players stayed on the court to continue shooting around, Simmons walked off and went into the locker room.

What are Simmons’ teammates saying about the situation?

Simmons appears to have lost any support from his teammates, who have constantly had to answer questions about his involvement with the team.

“At the end of the day, our job is not to babysit somebody,” star 76ers center Joel Embiid said Tuesday after practice. “We get paid to produce on the court, go out, play hard, win some games. That’s what we get paid for. We don’t get paid to come out here and try to babysit somebody. That’s not our job. I’m sure my teammates feel that way.

“At this point, I don’t care about that man. He does whatever he wants. … Our chemistry has been excellent despite everything that’s been happening the last few months. Like I said, I don’t really care.”

Embiid also said then that he has not spoken to Simmons since he reported to the team over the weekend.

Earlier in the month, Embiid called the situation “weird, disappointing” and “borderline disrespectful.”

What is this issue all about?

Simmons requested a trade over the summer due to his displeasure with comments Embiid and Rivers made after the team’s loss to the Hawks in the Eastern Conference semifinals last season.

Asked after the season-ending Atlanta game if Simmons was capable of being a point guard for a championship team, Rivers said, “I don’t know the answer to that right now.”

Simmons has missed close to $1 million in lost salary and fines for his holdout.

What is Simmons’ contract status with the 76ers?

Simmons is entering the second year of a five-year $177.2 million deal.

What’s next in this situation?

It is becoming increasingly apparent that any reconciliation will be unlikely and that Simmons may be simply forcing his way out of Philadelphia. The 76ers still have a talented roster and cannot afford to play a key player whose commitment is called into question.

President of basketball operations Daryl Morey has been unable to find a suitable trade, and while Morey and Rivers have maintained they want Simmons on the court, the trade request coupled with back-and-forths publicly and anonymously have put the team in an untenable situation.

Contributing: Jeff Zillgitt

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ben Simmons suspension: What we know about Philadelphia 76ers’ saga



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