Ben Simmons has returned to the Philadelphia 76ers ahead of the start of the NBA’s regular season, but all does not appear to be well.
The former No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick has wanted out of Philadelphia all offseason. However, the Sixers didn’t get the kind of trade offers they wanted for Simmons, so they’ve held onto him. While Simmons was rumored to be considering a holdout, he showed up prior to the start of the regular season.
But does he actually want to be there?
The latest practice video appears to say otherwise. Video is going viral on social media, showing Simmons practicing with what appears to be a phone in his pocket.
Forty seconds of Ben Simmons in Sixers gear, at Sixers practice, on Monday: pic.twitter.com/CDzMQdFpXL
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) October 18, 2021
The NBA world is very interested to see how this plays out.
“How seriously is Ben Simmons taking practice? Notice he has a cell phone in his pocket….” Kurt Helin tweeted.
How seriously is Ben Simmons taking practice? Notice he has a cell phone in his pocket…. https://t.co/HFoxzS0Hnh
— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) October 18, 2021
“This man is really practicing with his phone in his pocket…” another fan tweeted.
“Bro got his phone in his pocket he is not playing for them,” one fan added.
“Literally practicing with his phone in his pocket. Waiting on the Woj bomb to drop mid practice or something,” another fan added.
It’s just practice – and it’s only a 40-second clip – so maybe we’re reading too much into this. However, it’s a pretty rare sight to see an NBA player practicing with a phone in his pocket. And, based on his offseason reports, it’s safe to say that Simmons likely still wants out.
Philadelphia is set to open the regular season on Wednesday against New Orleans. It’s unclear when – or if – Simmons will be playing in regular season games anytime soon.
UPDATE: According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the object in Simmons’ pocket was a practice jersey, not a cellphone.
Ben Simmons appears to have practiced today with a phone in his pocket … as the enclosed video shows.
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) October 18, 2021
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