Simmons suspended 1 game after removal from practice, reportedly fined $1.4M
Sixers head coach Doc Rivers removed Simmons from Tuesday's practice, the point guard's third with the team following an offseason holdout.
"I thought he was a distraction today. I didn't think he wanted to do what everyone else was doing," Rivers said following practice.
"I'm going to give Ben every chance to be part of the team. ... As a coach, I have to protect the team first," Rivers added, noting that he expects Simmons to be at Thursday's practice.
Rivers asked Simmons to leave Tuesday's practice after he refused several times to take part in a defensive drill, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
The organization fined Simmons $1.4 million for missing the team's four preseason games, in addition to other fines for missing practices and other activities, sources told Wojnarowski.
The Sixers and the three-time All-Star appear to once again be at an impasse after Simmons ended his summer hiatus by appearing in Philadelphia last week for a mandatory COVID-19 test.
He was scheduled to speak to reporters following Tuesday's practice, though that appearance has been canceled.
Sixers center Joel Embiid spoke to the media and shared his annoyance with the situation.
"At this point, I don't care about that man, honestly. He does whatever he wants," Embiid said, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia.
He added, "Our job is not to babysit somebody."
The Sixers open the 2021-22 campaign Wednesday on the road against the Pelicans.
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