Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid acknowledged that his job is not to "babysit" suspended Ben Simmons. Simmons returned to the Sixers late last week but he was tossed from Tuesday's practice because he was unwilling to engage physically and mentally into the practice.
"I'm trying to win," Embiid said after Simmons had been tossed from Tuesday's practice by 76ers coach Doc Rivers. "And to win, you have to have that relationship with your teammates. I do have that relationship with all my teammates.
"But at the end of the day, our job is not to babysit somebody. We get paid to produce on the court, go out, play hard, win some games ... that's what we get paid for. We don't get paid to come out here and try to babysit somebody.
So that's not our job, and I'm sure my teammates feel that way. "We're really focused on just winning and playing as a team." Coach Rivers felt Simmons was a distraction and he sent him home. "I just thought he was a distraction today,'' Rivers said Tuesday after practice.
"I didn't think he wanted to do what everybody else was doing. It was early. It wasn't a big deal. I just told him he should leave. We went on with practice.' '
Embiid doesn't care about Simmons anymore
"At this point I don't care about that man," Embiid said, referring to Simmons.
"He does whatever he wants. That's not my job. That's [the front office's job]. "I'm only focused on trying to make the team better, win some games, play hard every night, try to lead the guys we have here and I'm sure they feel the same way because our chemistry has been excellent despite everything that's been happening the past few months.
"So, like I said, I don't really care." Still, coach Rivers said he will give Simmons a chance to make things right and continue being part of the team. "Every day, every single moment, I'm going to give Ben a chance to join the team, and be part of the team," Rivers said.
"He's under contract to be part of the team, and that's not going to change. Sometimes it happens quick and guys join back in, and sometimes it doesn't. I've been in both situations, and I'm fine with that.
"My job as a coach is to keep trying to get guys to buy in, to be in, and unfortunately this is tougher, this situation, but that's my job. I'm not going to stop my job."