NBA star Ben Simmons has reportedly been handed a one-game suspension for "detrimental conduct" to the Philadelphia 76ers. ESPN's Senior NBA Insider Adam Wojnarowski reports that head coach Doc Rivers threw Simmons out of practice earlier today and the suspension was handed down shortly thereafter.
"Simmons' reluctance to physically and mentally engage with the Sixers since his return has been a consistent theme," Wojnarowski tweeted.
As a result, the Philadelphia 76ers will play their 2021-2022 NBA Regular Season opener against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday without the team's starting guard.
The NBA star's relationship with the team has been strained since Philadelphia's 2020-2021 season-ending loss against the Atlanta Hawks in June. While Simmons provided 13 assists in game seven of the second-round series, he only scored 5 points on four field-goal attempts in 36 minutes of action. During the team's post-game press conference, Philadelphia 76ers Head Coach Doc Rivers was asked if he thought Simmons could be a starting point guard on a championship team.
"I don't know the answer to that question," Rivers answered.
Rivers' comments were reportedly a sign of a larger division between the team and Simmons following their second-round loss to the Hawks. Throughout the off-season, reports indicated that Simmons had not stayed in contact with the team and did not plan on staying in Philadelphia. However, he returned to the 76ers earlier this month after the NBA franchise threatened to withhold large portions of his salary. In less than two full practices with the team, Simmons has been suspended and it appears that his relationship with the franchise is beyond repair.
If Simmons elects to return to Philadelphia after his one-game suspension is complete, he will be eligible to play against the Nets on Friday and the Thunder on Sunday.