76ers

Isiah Thomas calls out Ben Simmons, who sits again for rest

Isiah Thomas calls out Ben Simmons, who sits again for rest

LAS VEGAS — Wonder what Isiah Thomas would say now.

The Sixers are resting Ben Simmons for the second straight night. After missing Wednesday night's game (pre-scheduled rest) against the the minor leaguers (D-League Select), Simmons will not play tonight against the Nets for rest.

"It's a long summer," Sixers Samsung NBA Summer League head coach Lloyd Pierce said Wednesday. "He's played in both summer leagues. We weren't going to play him full capacity regardless."

Tonight will be the Sixers’ eighth summer league game overall. Simmons has missed three, as he was sidelined for the team’s second game in Utah summer league after suffering cramps in the opener.

Thomas, a Hall of Famer and now NBA analyst, blasted Simmons Wednesday night on NBATV after getting word Simmons was sitting for rest.

"You're 19,” Thomas said, via FOXSports.com. “Earn your money, get on the floor and play.”

It's important to remember that sitting Simmons is more than likely the Sixers' decision.

Without Simmons, expect to see a larger role from summer league players. On Wednesday, Shawn Long led all players with 21 points off the bench and starting guard Brandon Paul scored 20. Six players logged more than 20 minutes. 

If the 22nd-seeded Sixers beat the sixth-seeded Nets, they will move on to the next round of the tournament and play on Saturday at 10 p.m. If they lose to the Nets, they will play Friday at 8:30 p.m. 

Zhaire Smith has a clear goal for his first full NBA season with the Sixers

Zhaire Smith has a clear goal for his first full NBA season with the Sixers

Zhaire Smith has packed on some pounds this summer, most recently weighing in at 212 as he continues to grind in the weight room over the offseason.

“I’ve got a lot of goals, especially in the weight room, to get bigger, stronger and faster,” Smith said at the Sixers Summer Shore Tour in Wildwood, New Jersey.

There’s a reason that when you ask Smith about his goals this summer, he always makes a reference to the weight room.

After a severe allergic reaction nearly takes away your entire rookie season, leaving you in a hospital for weeks and with feeding tubes for months, gaining back the 40 pounds (and some) you lost becomes a pretty important goal.

“With all I’ve been through the past 12 months, and it’s been a crazy ride, a lot of bumps in the road, but we here now and I’m not looking back.”

If that crazy ride he’s been on has taught him one thing, it’s this:

“I know not to take the game for granted and work hard every day, like it’s my last.”

If you talk to those around Smith, you’ll find out quickly that working hard isn’t something the young guard takes lightly. He also knows that minutes aren’t going to be handed to him, and he’s ready to get to work.

“To get in the rotation, play hard and just do what I do and have fun with it,” Smith said of his goals this season.

Smith is also looking forward to practices and bonding with his new teammates.

“It’s going to be competitive. I can see it right now, that practice is going to be really intense and we are just going to go at it.”

On top of that, Smith is ready to soak up all the knowledge he can, especially on the defensive end.

“I’m looking forward to asking questions and learning, so it’s going to be a fun ride. I believe we are all going to bond together really quick and have a fun time.”

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Sixers Talk podcast: John Gonzalez on the Sixers' offseason and Brett Brown appreciation

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NBA Sports Philadelphia/USA Today Images

Sixers Talk podcast: John Gonzalez on the Sixers' offseason and Brett Brown appreciation

John Gonzalez joins Paul Hudrick for a lively conversation about the craziest NBA offseason ever and a moment to appreciate Brett Brown.

2:00: Craziest move of the craziest NBA offseason.
5:15: Keep Ben and Jo together.
12:12: Are the Sixers better of just different?
20:30: How to handle Joel Embiid and DNPs.
25:55: Is the East a two-team race or are the Celtics a threat?
30:13: Sorry, haters: Just a segment appreciating Brett Brown.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Sixers