New details emerge about Ben Simmons' toxic relationship with 76ers

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Pictured here, a frustrated Ben Simmons watches 76ers teammates practice.
The basketball world has labelled Ben Simmons' relationship with the Philadelphia 76ers 'toxic'. Pic: AAP

Even before he was kicked out of practice and sent home, Ben Simmons' relationship with teammates, his coach and Philadelphia 76ers staff appeared to have broken down to the point of no return.

The ugly Simmons saga took another dramatic twist on Tuesday in the United States after Sixers coach Doc Rivers kicked him out of practice for refusing to participate in a defensive drill with the rest of the team.

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The Aussie star will miss the 76ers' NBA season opener against New Orleans on Wednesday after being banned for what the club described as "conduct detrimental to the team".

Details have since emerged about how great the disconnect between Simmons and the Sixers has been, with reports that he frequently ignores teammates and staff and spends as little time at the practice facility as possible.

"People present at the scene say Simmons has simply come and gone inside the 76ers' facility since returning to practice Sunday," NBA insider Shams Charania reported.

"He enters the facility and ignores most 76ers staffers. For instance, when the 76ers' security official greeted Simmons on Sunday, the three-time All-Star just walked right by him.

"When others greet him, Simmons typically has given no response."

Simmons has almost exclusively been training by himself since returning to the fold, but things came to a head when Rivers asked him to join in on a defensive drill.

Seen here, Ben Simmons looks on during a Philadelphia 76ers practice session.
Ben Simmons looks on during a Philadelphia 76ers practice session. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The Aussie reportedly told the coach, "No", before he was asked to leave the session and head home - orders the 25-year-old promptly followed.

"I just thought he was a distraction today," Rivers said.

"I didn't think he wanted to do what everybody else was doing.

"I just told him he should leave. We went on with practice."

Superstar teammate Joel Embiid had much stronger words for Simmons.

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

"I'm focused on making the team better, win some games, play hard every night, try to lead the guys that we have here.

"At the end of the day, our job is not to babysit somebody."

Ugly saga has 'passed point of no return'

Sixers president Daryl Morey has been so far holding out for an All-Star-calibre player to trade for Simmons, but the situation has become so bad that many basketball analysts believe they risk destabilising the whole team unless they ship him out fast. 

“As the gap between Simmons and the organisation continues to grow, there will be further questions about whether this is even worth trying to salvage, with Simmons and his representation now at four months worth of signalling that he is done in Philadelphia,” PhillyVoice’s Kyle Neubeck wrote.

“And while Rivers insists he will show up each day and give Simmons a chance to buy back into what they’re building, the franchise player does not sound interested in waiting around for anyone.”

Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix says the damage done between Simmons and the Sixers is irreparable and that the two parties have "passed the point of no return".

“It’s war now between Simmons and the Sixers, and make no mistake: We have passed the point of no return,” he wrote.

“Even if you believed Philadelphia would welcome Simmons back into the locker room, there’s no going back now. It’s one thing to stay away from the team in the hopes of securing a trade. It’s another to try to sabotage it.

“The Sixers didn’t wrong Simmons. Simmons wronged them, and now the relationship, already tattered, is beyond repair.”

ESPN’s Tim Leger labelled the whole sorry situation "toxic", with fans taking to social media in droves with similar sentiments.

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