Ben Simmons is one of the only Sixers permitted to be at the training facility during the pandemic due to him entering the suspension while listed as injured
When the Philadelphia 76ers and the NBA season went on hiatus, it left a lot of questions for players and teams. Among them — can players still come to the practice facility?
Initially, the answer was yes, if the players and team employees had their temperatures monitored closely upon entrance. As health officials and the league learned more about the ongoing pandemic and the dangers surrounding it, that answer changed.
Effectively, no, players are not allowed at training facilities for the time being, with one exception — Those that are injured can visit the facility, as they may need to receive treatment for their ongoing injuries.
As pointed out in a recent piece from ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, Ben Simmons is one of the players that is permitted to go to the Sixers’ facility, given that he entered the hiatus while nursing a back injury.
Per MacMullan, Simmons is healthy now, and the team expects that if the season were to resume, he would be fully available for the playoffs. That said, the team has not released an official update on his back injury, and he remains officially “out”.
Simmons’ injury was of chief concern prior to the season being suspended. The Sixers had promised updates on his injury status and elapsed the timeline of those updates leading to some suspicion that the injury may be worse than previously revealed amongst the Sixers community, but given how rapidly the NBA landscape changed, many forgot all about his injury and the drama surrounding it.
Simmons can technically only visit the practice facility in Camden, New Jersey for injury treatment, but as far as if he can get shots up while he’s at the facility or perhaps work on his 3-point shot that he says he’s finally ready to start rolling into live gameplay, it’s probably a gray area.
The league probably wants him there, in and out as absolutely needed, for treatment. It’s unlikely they’d be pleased if he were getting any work in while there, given their motivations for keeping players safe and isolated as much as possible.
Simmons probably can’t get much productive work done, anyway, with coaches not currently allowed to come work out with him.
So, as far as how much of an edge Simmons is getting, it’s probably not much.
There’s something to be said about having some sort of a routine and having an excuse for getting out of the house during the pandemic, though, and if Simmons is regularly heading to the practice facility for treatment — which we don’t know that he actually is — heck, many would love for that cathartic drive just to and from the office right about now.