Ben Simmons unlikely to play Friday after missing workout Thursday, reports say

The drama surrounding All-Star 76ers guard Ben Simmons continued on Thursday as reports surfaced that he did not participate in a team workout following the team’s season opener. 

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports Simmons arrived and departed the 76ers practice facility in Camden on Thursday without taking part in a scheduled individual workout. 

Wojnarowski says Simmons' status for Friday’s nationally televised game against Brooklyn is unclear, but he’s unlikely to play as he has yet to ‘fully engage’ in a team practice.


The Athletic's Shams Charania cited sources Thursday in reporting that Simmons was ‘not mentally ready’ to play for the team and had been receiving treatment on his back due to the ramp-up process since his return. 

"He will miss Friday’s home opener vs. Nets and is not expected to play for an undetermined period of time," Charania tweeted. 

Wojnarowski says the team's medical staff cleared Simmons to participate in the workout after he received treatment. Simmons is expected to arrive early at the team's Friday shootaround to discuss his playing status with the organization's leadership, Wojnarowski says. 

Simmons was suspended for the team’s season-opening win in New Orleans for conduct detrimental to the team after he was kicked out of practice Tuesday. 

According to multiple reports, Simmons declined multiple requests to join a defensive drill, prompting Rivers to kick him out. 

After Tuesday’s practice, Rivers said he felt Simmons was a ‘distraction.’

Ben Simmons at Sixers practice on Monday. 

I just thought he was a distraction today," Rivers said Tuesday after practice. "I didn’t think he wanted to do what everybody else was doing. It was early. It wasn’t a big deal. I just told him he should leave. We went on with practice."

Tuesday’s incident also appeared to draw the ire of Simmons teammate, Joel Embiid. 

"At this point, I don’t care about that man. He does whatever he wants," Embiid said after practice. 

Embiid dropped multiple references Tuesday to not working as a babysitter anymore for the 25-year-old Australian guard, who still has four years and $147 million left on his max contract.

"I’m not here to babysit," Embiid said. "I’d be willing to babysit if someone wants to listen, but that’s not my job. That’s out of my control."

The drama also crept into the Philadelphia Eagles locker room, when longtime center Jason Kelce commented on the controversy. 

"I don’t want to crush anyone, but what’s going on with Ben Simmons, the 76ers, stuff like that - all that is because of a lack of accountability, a lack of owning up to mistakes, and a lack of correcting things," Kelce said. 

Kelce went on to say that he doesn’t think Philadelphia is a ‘hard’ place to play, adding that he’d rather play for a fan base that cares, as opposed to one that is less involved. 

The Sixers will take on the Brooklyn Nets at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Wells Fargo Center.  



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