Berlin (STATS Perform/dpa) – Ben Simmons will miss the Philadelphia 76ers’ NBA season opener against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday after being handed a one-game suspension.
On Tuesday, the 76ers announced Simmons was suspended for the Pelicans game due to «conduct detrimental to the team». According to reports, the three-time All Star was ejected from practice after coach Doc Rivers grew frustrated with his lack of engagement.
Simmons demanded a trade amid the fallout from last season’s playoff exit to the Atlanta Hawks. He was absent for the first two weeks of preseason work before showing up on October 11 to begin fulfilling coronavirus protocols that would allow him to re-join the championship-chasing franchise.
Rivers told reporters on Monday he had «no idea» whether Simmons would play in the opening game of the 2021-22 season, adding: «When it comes, I’ll make the decision. But I’m just going to wait and see and watch. The spirit has been so good, and so we’re just going to keep going.»
The Australian, who has four years and 147 million dollars left on his max contract, was criticized for his shooting performance during the 2021 postseason, in which the 76ers were eliminated in the semi-finals.