“I Don’t Have a Reaction to that Because Ben’s Not Here” – Notes from Day 1 of Sixers Training Camp

Sleepy day in Camden for the start of Sixers training camp. Ben Simmons was not in the house, which we already knew. Tyrese Maxey played with the first team, as expected. Practice ran about two hours, but unfortunately this isn’t the Eagles’ setup, so we only get to watch about 15 minutes before media availability begins.

That said, I have a couple of video clips for you:

Exhilarating, right?

There just wasn’t much for us to watch. When we walked into the gym, assistant Dan Burke was running some defensive drills with the squad as players called out perimeter assignments. Afterward, they split off into small groups to get some shots up.

We spoke with Doc Rivers, Tobias Harris, and Seth Curry following the practice session, and here are some notes worth sharing:

  • Doc said he had no reaction to the report that Ben Simmons no longer wants to play with Joel Embiid: “Ben’s not here. I do believe that at some point he will be. If it isn’t, then we’ve got another story. I don’t get caught up in that. Right now I’m gonna focus on the guys on the floor and I think that’s more important… This is not the first time that guys didn’t think they could play together. This is basketball. So I don’t think this is any Earth-shattering thing to me.”
  • The defense was ahead of the offense, which is “typical of the first day.”
  • Rivers said showing the team the Game 7 loss from the Hawks series was beneficial from a learning perspective.
  • Doc says he doesn’t know if teams need three superstars to win a title, but he definitely thinks you need two. They don’t need a third star but a third “option” instead.
  • Maxey was running PG with the first team the entirety of practice. Rivers noted he’s not a natural point guard.
  • Offensively they’ll add more and tweak their sets, but he doesn’t want to recreate the wheel. “The wheel was pretty good last year.” 
  • He thinks turnovers were an issue last year and wants to be a better passing team.
  • Tobias Harris was asked if he thinks there should be a vaccine mandate for players: “Even if I did, nobody would listen to me, so that’s how I look at it. I’m gonna do what I do and inform my people and people around me, that I’m around day to day. And I’m gonna mind my business as well.”

That’s about it. Not a ton to report. We’re obviously waiting for a resolution to the Ben Simmons situation and that’s THE BIG STORY on Action News.