CAMDEN, N.J. — In the wake of the Philadelphia 76ers suspending Ben Simmons for their season-opening sport in New Orleans on Wednesday night time, celebrity heart Joel Embiid stated he has but to talk to Simmons, and declared — a number of instances — that it’s not his job to “babysit” anybody.
“I’m trying to win,” Embiid stated after Simmons had been tossed from Tuesday’s practice by 76ers coach Doc Rivers. “And to win, you have to have that relationship with your teammates. I do have that relationship with all my teammates.
“But on the finish of the day, our job is to not babysit any individual. We receives a commission to provide on the courtroom, exit, play arduous, win some video games … that is what we receives a commission for. We do not receives a commission to return out right here and attempt to babysit any individual. So that is not our job, and I’m positive my teammates really feel that method.
“We’re really focused on just winning and playing as a team.”
The 76ers introduced late in Tuesday’s practice that Simmons has been suspended one sport for conduct detrimental to the group, a suspension he’ll serve for the opening sport Wednesday in opposition to the Pelicans.
Simmons had been thrown out of practice by 76ers coach Doc Rivers after he declined a number of instances to sub in for a drill, sources instructed ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
“I just thought he was a distraction today,” Rivers said Tuesday after practice. “I did not suppose he wished to do what everyone else was doing. It was early. It wasn’t a giant deal. I simply instructed him he ought to depart. We went on with practice.”
The 76ers have fined Simmons $1.4 million for his absence from 4 preseason video games ($360,000 every) and levied quite a few group fines for missed practices, on-court exercises and conferences, sources instructed Wojnarowski. Simmons hasn’t earned any cash since returning to the group on Oct. 11.
By being suspended for Wednesday’s sport, Simmons will lose one other roughly $227,000.
Simmons’ reluctance to bodily and mentally have interaction with the Sixers since his return has been a constant theme, sources instructed Wojnarowski.
“I mean today, no,” Rivers stated with a smile, when requested if he thinks Ben desires to be there. “We told him to go home. But, hopefully at some point, yeah, I do.”
Tuesday felt like a boiling level for a scenario that is been simmering for a number of months. Wednesday will probably be 4 months to the day of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals in opposition to the Atlanta Hawks — the sport Simmons handed up an open dunk that may’ve tied the sport with lower than 4 minutes left, and the Sixers went on to lose and see their season come to an finish.
A short while later, Simmons requested for a commerce, and he then held out the primary two weeks of coaching camp in an try to power the 76ers to make a deal. Instead, he reported to the group final week, and after going via a number of days of re-entry protocols, Simmons practiced with the group Sunday and Monday earlier than being tossed from Tuesday’s practice.
Since returning to the group, Simmons has not spoken to the media, and hasn’t stated something publicly since that Game 7 loss. That has left Rivers and his teammates to reply questions concerning the scenario for him.
Embiid and Rivers each tried to spin the scenario by saying the remainder of the group is concentrated and engaged, however Embiid, in explicit, could not conceal his frustration with the actual fact this example has gone on so long as it has.
“At this point I don’t care about that man,” Embiid stated, referring to Simmons. “He does whatever he wants. That’s not my job. That’s [the front office’s job].
“I’m solely centered on attempting to make the group higher, win some video games, play arduous each night time, attempt to lead the fellows we’ve got right here and I’m positive they really feel the identical method as a result of our chemistry has been wonderful regardless of every part that is been taking place the previous few months.
“So, like I said, I don’t really care.”
“At this point I don’t care about that man. He does whatever he wants. That’s not my job. That’s [the front office’s job].”
Joel Embiid, on Ben Simmons
Rivers, in the meantime, tried to strike a conciliatory tone. When requested if Simmons could be again on the courtroom the following time Philadelphia practices — probably as quickly as Thursday or Friday morning forward of the group’s dwelling opener in opposition to the Brooklyn Nets — Rivers stated, “We’re gonna expect that, yes.”
And, when requested what he ought to do with a participant that has proven he does not need to be a part of the group, Rivers stated that does not change his job description.
“Every day, every single moment, I’m going to give Ben a chance to join the team, and be part of the team,” Rivers stated. “He’s under contract to be part of the team, and that’s not going to change. Sometimes it happens quick and guys join back in, and sometimes it doesn’t. I’ve been in both situations, and I’m fine with that.
“My job as a coach is to maintain attempting to get guys to purchase in, to be in, and sadly that is harder, this example, however that is my job. I’m not going to cease my job.”
What’s also clear, though, is that this situation isn’t going away anytime soon. Philadelphia has remained steadfast in its belief that it will only trade Simmons if it is a deal that allows the team to remain the championship contender it believes it is with Simmons. Until such a deal materializes, the 76ers will expect Simmons, who has four years remaining on his contract, to be part of the team.
Sources said Rivers has made it clear since Simmons reported back to the team last week that Simmons would not play until he showed engagement and positive energy — and that those factors are being evaluated as much as his conditioning.
Now the 76ers are off to New Orleans for Wednesday’s game, where — at least for one day — there won’t be a possibility of Simmons returning to the court. But it doesn’t remove it from being a story Embiid and his teammates will have to keep answering questions about.
“I receives a commission to ship, and that is to win video games, and clearly the last word aim is to win a championship,” Embiid said. “But, like I all the time say, I can not do it alone. I want these guys, the fellows which might be listed below are prepared to assist me, and I’m prepared to assist them, and we’ll proceed to do it collectively.”