Tobias Harris Stands Up For Ben Simmons 'We'll Embrace Our Brother'

Ben Simmons is NOT persona non grata in the Philadelphia 76ers locker room ... 'cause teammate Tobias Harris says the team will welcome the All-Star back with open arms when he's ready to go.

The 25-year-old -- who demanded a trade earlier this year -- spoke with coach Doc Rivers and teammates Friday morning ... reportedly telling them he's not mentally ready to play.

He also accepted the fact he -- as well as the team -- needs to take responsibility for how things have transpired.

While superstar Joel Embiid previously sounded off against the Simmons/Sixers saga, at least one team leader is backing #25 ... with Harris speaking out and saying the team will "respect his privacy and space during this time."

"When he’s ready, we will embrace our brother with love and handle our business on the court," Harris said. "That's it, that's all."

Sixers GM Daryl Morey recently said the drama could last for the entirety of Simmons' contract, which ends in 4 years ... but now that the star is getting support from teammates, it could all be over sooner than later.

Charles Barkley Sixers Gotta Trade Ben Simmons ... He's Being A Jerk!!!

DON'T BE A JERK
TMZSports.com

The Philadelphia Sixers need to trade Ben Simmons ASAP, so says Charles Barkley ... telling TMZ Sports it has to happen now that the All-Star is acting like a complete "jerk" around his team.

Simmons was suspended for the team's season opener on Wednesday after 76ers head coach Doc Rivers kicked him out of practice for "detrimental conduct."

We spoke with Barkley the same day of the disciplinary action --- and he tells us that the one-game suspension won't solve the issues.

"They should've suspended him longer," the Hall of Famer says, "he's not going to be better Friday."

"Today is Wednesday, they only suspended him for a day. They should suspend him for longer. Plain and simple."

In fact, Chuck believes the Sixers should ship his ass outta town -- and is contemplating why Simmons even bothered showin' up to the Sixers' facility if he was gonna "be a jerk."

"I'm disappointed. If he wasn't gon' play, he should have never came to training camp," Chuck says.

"You don't come to work and then be a jerk. You don't practice with a cell phone in your pocket!"

Well, that trade might not come anytime soon -- 76ers GM Daryl Morey said this spectacle can last four years unless they get a "difference-maker" type of trade.

Stay strong, Sixers fans.

Eagles Star Jason Kelce Slams Ben Simmons ... 'Just Play Better, Man'

"YOU WRITE YOUR OWN NARRATIVE"
Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles star Jason Kelce clearly ain't pleased with the way Ben Simmons is handling business with the Sixers ... telling reporters Thursday he thinks the NBA star should shut up and "play better."

Simmons has been a problem in Philly for the past few months -- wanting out of the city so badly, he actually got thrown out of practice this week and then suspended by the team.

Kelce, though, says he's got the perfect solution for Simmons to fix all the woes -- and it's simply to just be a better basketball player.

"Everybody can bitch and complain about how tough this city is to play in -- just play better, man," the 33-year-old Eagles O-lineman said. "This city will love you."

Kelce added, "If I go out there and play really good, nobody's going to have any choice but to love me or appreciate me as a player."

Seems Simmons really ain't even down to try that route ... 'cause the point guard was spotted at Sixers practice this week loafing around and appearing to go through drills with his phone in his pocket.

And, with the 25-year-old's star teammate, Joel Embiid, saying he "doesn't care about" Simmons anymore ... it all looks like the guy will be jettisoned soon.

For Kelce -- who's Travis Kelce's big bro, by the way -- he clearly thinks that's a shame ... and perhaps even a cowardly way to bow out of Philadelphia.

"It's a travesty any way you put it," Jason said ... "It's a pretty good example of how to not handle the Philly media at the very least."

Ben Simmons Suspended By 76ers ... Thrown Out Of Practice

As if the Ben Simmons saga couldn't get uglier ... the star hooper was just suspended after getting kicked out of practice by 76ers head coach Doc Rivers.

Simmons will miss the team's first game of the season Wednesday night against the Pelicans.

As we previously reported, 25-year-old Simmons unexpectedly showed up to the Sixers' arena last week, after an off-season filled with trade demands.

But, if you thought everything was cool in Philly ... think again.

Simmons practiced with the team on Monday, but looked miserable -- playing with his phone in his pocket, and walking away while his teammates huddled.

According to Woj, Rivers tossed Simmons out of practice this morning ... and the team slapped him with a 1-game suspension for "detrimental conduct."

Doc met with the media after practice and said, “I thought [Simmons] was a distraction today. I told him, 'You should leave Ben.'”

When asked why he was allowing Simmons to be with the rest of the team, Rivers said it's because he's ultimately a good player who can help the Sixers win games.

Doc may be in a mood to make things work ... but it's clear Joel Embiid, the teams best player, isn't feelin' Simmons right now.

After practice, Embiid told reporters ... “At this point I don’t care about that man, honestly. He does whatever he wants.”

Simmons -- a 3x All-Star -- had an awful postseason last year ... clearly hesitant to shoot the ball, and missing a ton of free throws.

Given todays incident, the drama doesn't appears to be ending anytime soon ... and with the NBA season officially kicking off tonight, things could get interesting in Philadelphia.

Metta Sandiford-Artest Simmons Will Be MVP Candidate

MVP BOUND
TMZSports.com

Ben Simmons ... MVP candidate???

Metta Sandiford-Artest thinks so ... telling TMZ Sports he truly believes the Philadelphia 76ers guard (at least for now, that is) ... will be one of the best players in the NBA this season.

The NBA champ had high praises for the disgruntled star when we spoke with him this week ... and despite all the drama surrounding his trade demand, Metta says it will be a breakthrough season for the 25-year-old.

"This kid is going to be an MVP candidate," the former All-Star emphatically expressed. "Just because he’s a superstar doesn’t mean he needs to be a shooter."

Metta even cited players like Gary Payton and Jason Kidd, who didn't necessarily have the best shooter's touch throughout their NBA tenure ... but went on to have Hall of Fame careers.

MSA even goes on to say Ben will hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy when it's all said and done ... and believes there can be a kiss and make-up moment with the Sixers.

"He will be an MVP candidate, and he will be second-team all-NBA, and he will be a champion. Hopefully in Philly with my good brother (and current Sixers GM) Elton Brand. Work it out."

Of course, Simmons is no scrub -- he was third-team All-NBA in 2020 -- but his recent struggles have folks wondering if he's pushing himself to his limit.

Sandiford-Artest offered some advice to Simmons and other players that might find themselves in a similar situation.

"You don’t request trades when you don’t have to, 'cause you don’t want to mess with your legacy," he said. "Stay with one team as long as you can. Build that comfort. Build your legacy."

It's unclear if Ben and the Sixers will be able to work it out -- things have gotten ugly as Simmons appears to be hellbent on getting shipped out of Philly ... but at least Metta is holding out hope.

Report: Ben Simmons Giving Sixers Silent Treatment ... Plans To Leave Team

Ben Simmons' time in Philadelphia appears to be all but over -- the NBA star will reportedly bail on Sixers training camp next week ... and has given the team the cold shoulder for more than a month.

The 25-year-old has been rumored to want out of the City of Brotherly Love this offseason ... and according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Simmons appears to be standing his ground.

Woj also says Simmons is fully prepared to be fined or suspended until he is shipped off to a new team.

If it is, in fact, the last time the guard plays for Philly, his last appearance will leave a bad taste in fans' mouths -- he averaged 9.9 points a game in the Eastern Conference semi-finals against the Atlanta Hawks this past postseason.

NO FIX NEEDED
TMZSports.com

Despite the offensive struggles, NBA/BIG 3 star Joe Johnson told us last week BS' jump shot is NOT broken ... and said it's a confidence issue more than anything.

Jumper or not, Ben's relationship with the Sixers is seemingly beyond repair ... and it'll be interesting to see if any team takes a chance on him.

Joel Embiid I Don't Want Ben Simmons Traded ... We Can Win A Title

Joel Embiid does NOT want Ben Simmons shipped out of Philly -- despite the fact the star PG had a horrific postseason and reportedly wants to be traded -- saying the All-Star duo can win a 'chip if they stay together.

"I love playing with Ben. Stats don’t lie. He’s an amazing player and we all didn’t get the job done," Embiid says.

"It’s on me personally. I hope everyone is back cuz we know we’re good enough to win."

Of course, 25-year-old Simmons seriously struggled last season, especially in the playoffs, when the Sixers lost Game 7 at home to the Atlanta Hawks ... with a trip to the Conference Finals on the line.

Simmons averaged a career-low in points (14.3), rebounds (7.2) and assists (6.9) in 2020-2021. He averaged 11.9 points per game in the playoffs. On the other hand, Embiid dropped over 28 points per game during the regular season and playoffs.

Ben reportedly recently told Philly brass he wants out of the City of Brotherly Love ... a plan 27-year-old Embiid ain't with.

That's important because there are rumors Joel and Ben have big beef ... and the fracture is part of the reason the former #1 overall pick wants out.

In fact, USA Today reported the "Simmons-Embiid rift has been escalating" ... and the team is now forced to pick between the players 'cause they can't co-exist together.

But, Embiid is clearly calling BS ... and wants to keep the squad together.

The NBA season starts in only 48 days ... will the Sixers run it back with the same squad -- or unload the 3x All-Star.

Stay tuned ...

Dwight Howard Defends Ben Simmons 'You're My Brother and I Love You'

DON'T BLAME BEN
@dwighthoward / Instagram

Dwight Howard is calling for everyone to STOP HATING on his teammate, Ben Simmons -- with the 76ers star saying the negative criticism has gotten completely out of hand.

24-year-old Simmons has been under fire for playing poorly in the NBA playoffs -- particularly in Game 7 of the 76ers vs. Hawks series.

Simmons only scored 5 points in that game -- including 1 point in a hotly contested 4th quarter. Afterward, NBA analyst Shaquille O'Neal says he was so frustrated watching Simmons, he would have KO'd the guy in the locker room if they were teammates.

HEATED CRITIQUE
TNT

But, Howard says tough talk and violent threats are NOT the answer ... explaining Ben needs love and support instead.

"I don't think it's right that everybody just sending this man bad messages and all this negativity," Howard said Monday on IG Live ... "I think it sucks."

"We supposed to be the City of Brotherly Love and the best thing we can do is just send some positivity!!!"

Howard added, "This man is 24 years old! He's 24 years old. He's still learning who he is as a person and a player."

"No matter what! Ben, I got your back, man! You're my brother and I love you."

"He might have messed up, didn't take no shots, didn't do whatever -- he's gonna come back better next year. So for real, I think we just gotta send that man some love."

Wizards vs. Sixers Security Tackles Fan Who Ran on Court ... Banned From Arena

On today's episode of "NBA Fans Gone Wild" -- some idiot rushed the court during the Wizards vs. Sixers game on Monday ... and not only did he get wrecked by security, the guy is now BANNED from the arena.

So ... was it worth it, dude?!?

It all went down late in the third quarter of Game 4 of the first-round playoff series ... when the fan sprinted from the stands and onto the court -- flailing his arms and tapping the backboard before getting leveled by Capital One Arena security with a Ray Lewis-type hit.

Naturally, the players and coaches were pissed -- Sixers center Dwight Howard even walked over to the detained fan and stared down as he squirmed on the court.

The Wizards released a statement on the incident ... saying, "During this evening's game, a fan was apprehended by Capital One Arena Special Police after attempting to breach the court."

"He will be banned from the arena and charges are being pursued with DC MPD."

The NBA has had a serious issue with disrespectful fans over the past week -- from a spectator spitting on Trae Young to Kyrie Irving getting a bottle thrown at him to Russell Westbrook getting doused in popcorn ... and, unfortunately, several more incidents.

The fan from the Wizards/Sixers game has not been identified ... but we'll keep you posted.

Oh, and FWIW -- Washington avoided elimination with a 122-114 win.

76ers' Dwight Howard Gets Championship Ring Before Lakers Game ... Then Gets Ejected!!!

Big night for Dwight Howard in his return to Staples Center on Thursday -- first he got his 2020 NBA Championship ring ... and then he got EJECTED!

Remember, Howard was part of the Lakers team that won it all in Orlando during the bizarre bubble season of 2020.

After the season, he signed with the Philadelphia 76ers ... right around the time Danny Green was traded from L.A. to Philly.

Both returned to Staples for the first time this season on Thursday where the Lakers honored the two with a ring ceremony before tipoff.

Big smiles. Big diamonds. Everyone seemed to be in a great mood.

But, everything changed when the game began -- Howard got into it with Lakers tough guy Montrezl Harrell in a chippy 1st quarter.

Things culminated with Howard intentionally bumping Harrell as time expired in the 1st quarter -- Harrell shoved him back.

Howard got the technical and was ejected from the game.

At least he had a sparkly parting gift ...

Ultimately, the 76ers got the win -- even without Dwight -- taking down the champs in a 109 to 101 victory.

Dwight is hoping to lock up his 2nd NBA championship ring this season -- the 76ers are in 1st place in the NBA's Eastern Conference.

NBA's Danny Green Cops Iced-Out Power Rangers Pendant ... It's Morphin' Time!!!

Philadelphia 76ers star Danny Green has turned his favorite superhero into some iced-out jewelry -- coppin' a Power Rangers pendant filled with ... you guessed it, GREEN diamonds!

TMZ Sports has learned ... Green was on a new-team, new-jewelry kinda vibe after being traded to the Sixers a few months after winning the title with the LA Lakers last season.

So, the 33-year-old wing hit up celeb jeweler Leo Frost to hook him up ... and, as a huge Power Rangers fan, he asked for a sick piece -- and Leo delivered!

IT'S MORPHIN' TIME!!!
@LeoFrost

The ice is INSANE ... it looks exactly like a Power Rangers mask -- and it's filled with 48 carats of green, black and white VVS diamonds, plus 14k of white gold!!!

Unclear what Green paid for the piece ... but don't worry, we're sure he could afford it -- he's made $81 million in 12 seasons in the NBA!!

As for why the Green Ranger ... Danny's last name is, of course, Green -- but Leo says it's also because "whatever team he ends up on, he ends up balling out."

"That's what the Green Ranger did on Power Rangers," Leo tells us.

It makes sense ... Green has played for the 5 teams and won 3 NBA championships (Spurs, Raptors, Lakers).

It's morphin' time!!

Meek Mill & Michael Rubin Create $2 Million Scholarship Fund ... Aid for Philly Kids Now!!!

Meek Mill and Michael Rubin must be tired of Congress stalling on a relief package -- they've just created their own ... a $2M scholarship fund to benefit underprivileged kids in Philadelphia.

The "Championships" rapper and 76ers partner created the fund which is expected to benefit nearly 1,000 students in the Philly area ... and the impact will be IMMEDIATE. We're told the money -- which will go toward the 2020-2021 school year -- will help students from pre-K through high school score resources they desperately need during the pandemic.

The students from poverty-stricken homes who are selected to receive a scholarship can use the money to attend private/parochial schools throughout the city with costs covered. For those in e-learning school, they can use the funds to to access equipment ... like laptops, tablets and WiFi.

As you know, so many families are struggling to make ends meet, and a big part of that includes finding resources so kids can continue learning from home.

APRIL 2020
EVERYONE IS #ALLIN
TMZ.com

It's an awesome and much needed gesture from Michael and Meek ... close friends who are both from Philly.

Both men have been involved in multiple relief efforts through this god awful year. Michael was the architect of the All In Challenge during the early part of the pandemic. Tons of celebrities did their part in hooking it up ... from Meek, Drake, Tom Brady and Kevin Hart to Justin Bieber, Magic Johnson and Leonardo DiCaprio.

All of the millions raised through that venture went directly to feeding families.

Doc Rivers Lands Sixers Head Coaching Job ... After Clippers Exit

Well, THAT didn't take long.

Doc Rivers is back on an NBA bench just days after leaving the L.A. Clippers ... agreeing to become the next head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The longtime L.A. coach mutually parted ways with the Clips earlier this week ... after a disappointing exit from the playoffs.

Rivers addressed the exit in a statement, saying, "While I was able to accomplish most of my goals, I won't be able to see them all through. Though it was a disappointing ending to our season, you are right there and I know what this team is capable of accomplishing with your support."

Rivers made it clear he wasn't ready to hang up his tie just yet ... and while an official announcement has yet to be made, it's only a matter of time.

Rivers -- who has posted a 943-681 record as a head coach -- beat out huge names like Mike D'Antoni and Ty Lue for the gig ... and is taking on a team with a ton of talent.

The Sixers have been hoping to get back into the Finals for years ... and now they got a guy who has won it all.

Story developing ...

Joel Embiid & Anne de Paula Welcome Baby Boy ... Surprise!!

NBA superstar Joel Embiid and model girlfriend Anne de Paula just welcomed their first child together ... making the surprise announcement Thursday!!

The news comes as a shock to many who didn't even know the couple was expecting ... but the new parents decided to go public as their baby boy, Arthur Elijah de Paula Embiid, made his big arrival this week.

The name is important to the Embiid family -- Joel's younger brother, Arthur, died at age 13 in 2014.

"We are so blessed and fortunate to welcome our little boy in this family," the Sixers center said on Instagram.

And, in true Embiid fashion ... daddy had jokes.

"First of 11 or more? Trying to convince her but I’m not winning so far. I’m just trying to build a soccer team but for real I’m so excited for the future and my life has a new meaning."

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

"Kudos to @annedepaula_ for being so strong and giving me the Greatest Gift our life can offer #GodisGood"

Embiid and de Paula have been together since 2018 ... and this is their first child together.

Congrats!! ... and good luck on that soccer team, Joel!

NBA's Ben Simmons Joins FaZe Clan as Investor ... Call Me 'FaZe Simmo'

Ben Simmons has a new team -- no he hasn't been traded (yet) ... the NBA superstar has joined the world-famous FaZe Clan!

Simmons -- a hardcore gamer -- is the newest celebrity investor and even got a new FaZe nickname to go along with it ... FAZE SIMMO!

The Philadelphia 76ers big man will serve as an "ambassador to the organization for content as well as an advocate for gaming and esports and the expansion of FaZe Clan globally," the company says.

FaZe Clan also notes it will not disclose the amount of Ben's investment, though it's probably fair to assume it's a sizable number.

Simmons first started gaming with FaZe talent in 2018 -- mostly playing Call of Duty with FaZe Temperrr.

The two recently participated in a COD celebrity pro-am which raised nearly $125,000 to help people affected by COVID-19.

"Gaming is an important part of my life, and so it was a natural progression to personally invest in this industry,” Simmons said.

"FaZe Clan represents the pinnacle of the gaming culture, and I am really looking forward to connecting with new fans around the globe."

FaZe is one of the largest and most influential companies in gaming -- recently passing the 1 BILLION view mark on its YouTube channel.

Simmons joins a celebrity investment group that already features stars like Offset, Juju Smith-Schuster, Swae Lee, Pitbull, Nyjah Huston and more.

76ers Star Tobias Harris Hits Head Against Court Floor Returns to Game Soon After!!!

12:31 PM PT -- Lordy, Tobias Harris is BACK IN THE GAME!!! The 76ers say he showed no signs of a concussion, so they patched up his cut and sent the dude back into battle.

Tough guy, no doubt.

Tobias Harris took a scary fall on the basketball court that could've seriously injured the guy, or possibly even killed him -- but fortunately, it looks like he's going to be okay.

The 76ers star was playing in Sunday's game against the Boston Celtics, when at one point late in the third quarter, he went up for a defensive rebound ... but got his legs clipped by Jayson Tatum midair, which tilted his body and made him land hard on the paint headfirst.

You could see he was in excruciating pain as he writhed on the floor and couldn't get up at first. The refs stopped the game and the Philly's medical staff rushed out to the court to evaluate him. It appeared they signaled for trauma too, which meant it was serious.

It also looks like there might've been some blood spattered on the floor, which the med team was quick to wipe up as well.

The good news is that Tobias was able to get up and walk off the court on his own accord. He's said to have suffered a left eye laceration and was being evaluated for a concussion in the locker room.

It could've been much worse ... thank goodness it wasn't.

Originally Published -- 12:27 PM PT

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