76ers’ Ben Simmons skips planned workout
Three-time All-Star point guard Ben Simmons did not participate in a scheduled individual workout at the Philadelphia 76ers’ practice facility Thursday, ESPN reported.
Simmons told officials that he had tightness in his back after arriving at the team’s facility, according to the report. The team did not practice Thursday.
It is not immediately known if Simmons will suit up for the 76ers in their home opener against the Brooklyn Nets on Friday.
ESPN also reported that Simmons is expected to meet with team brass early Friday morning to discuss his playing status. The 76ers are hoping he’ll participate in the team shootaround later Friday morning.
Simmons, 25, served a one-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team in Philadelphia’s season-opening 117-97 victory over the host New Orleans Pelicans. He received the ban for refusing to participate in a practice drill on Tuesday.
Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey took a strong stance Thursday afternoon in a Philadelphia radio interview with 97.5 The Fanatic.
“People should buckle in. This is gonna go a long time because my only job is to help give us the best chance to win the title,” Morey said. “Ben Simmons is a difference-maker, so if we can get him back he will help us win the title. If we can trade Ben Simmons for a difference-maker, we will do it. I think that’s best for everyone in this situation.”
Without Simmons, Tyrese Maxey scored 20 points as the fill-in point guard in the season opener. All-Star center Joel Embiid and reserve guard Furkan Korkmaz led Philadelphia with 22 points each.
“Our focus was always like zeroed into this game, but I think that just comes from a lot of guys having added opportunity here,” said Tobias Harris, who had 20 points and 12 rebounds. “And really trying to figure out ways that they can maximize that type (of) opportunity.”
Simmons averaged 14.3 points, 6.9 assists and 7.2 rebounds in 58 games last season. He averaged just 11.9 points in the playoffs while shooting a dismal 34.2 percent from the free-throw line.
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