When the Philadelphia 76ers used the No. 1 overall pick in 2016 to select Ben Simmons, he was looked at as a vital piece to a future championship contending team. The franchise had clue what they were in store for just a few short years later.
Earlier this week, after a practice confrontation where Simmons refused to participate in defensive drills, he would be kicked out of practice by head coach Doc Rivers.
“It’s a predicament that we’re in and that part is no fun. It really isn’t,” Rivers said Wednesday ahead of his team’s first game against the New Orleans Pelicans. “We get to play right now and Ben is not. I want Ben to be playing. That’s his job.”
ESPN NBA draft analyst and founder of DraftExpress Jonathan Givony reminded everybody what was said about Simmons when he reposted his past draft profile on Simmons Thursday.
“Simmons’ lack of competitiveness in crucial games has raised question about his character… Those who know him best say he needs things to revolve around him on and off the court and that he’s often been close-minded to coaching or instruction,” Givony wrote in summary on Simmons back in 2016.
Rivers said he expected Simmons to rejoin the team when they return home. The team has its home opener Friday against the Brooklyn Nets. If Simmons plays, he will most certainly get booed off the court by the fans.
Simmons will be fined $330,000 for missing Wednesday’s game, which will bring his fines for missed games including the preseason to more than $1.7 million.
“I don’t like any player losing money. There’s so many things about this that I don’t like,” Rivers said. “But that still doesn’t mean you don’t have to do your job.”
Simmons has since put his main residence up for sell shortly after he was kicked out of practice and suspended for a game. He has clearly dug his heels into the sand on not playing for this team, and if he does, he won’t be giving it his all.