Ben Simmons Suspended from 76ers for One Game Due to 'Conduct Detrimental to the Team'
In a press conference after Tuesday's practice — when the suspension was announced — 76ers coach Doc Rivers said that Simmons, 25, "didn't think he wanted to do what everybody else was doing. … And it was early, it wasn't a big deal. I just told him, he should leave then, and we went on with practice."
The Athletic reporter Shams Charania said Rivers had repeatedly asked Simmons to participate in a defensive drill, which the player kept refusing.
A rep for Simmons did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
Rivers also told reporters that he will continue to "give Ben a chance to join the team and be part of the team."
"At the end of the day as the coach I have to protect the team," said Rivers, adding, "And so today I just thought it was more important to focus on the team."
According to ESPN, Simmons only returned to practicing with the team last week. He missed the first two weeks of practice while hoping for a trade from the Philadelphia team, the outlet reported.
Simmons made a trade request in August, according to Sports Illustrated. He has four years remaining on his 76ers max contract.
The 76ers will play their first game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday. They play again on Friday against the Brooklyn Nets.