CAMDEN, N.J. — The Sixers' practice court was energized on Tuesday when Ben Simmons suited up for his first five-on-none activity since injuring his foot in training camp.
“To even see him today go through five-on-zero stuff, not a lot, not at a hundred percent, but with us in a 76ers uniform, the gym got a lift, you could feel it,” Brett Brown said.
Simmons ran the point, according to Joel Embiid. The first overall pick entered the NBA as a point-forward, and Brown has said he intends to play Simmons at the one.
Brown described Simmons’ participation as “light script work” — going at 80 percent. It included passing, running plays and communicating.
“Albeit small, it’s the first time he’s done that and it was great to have him,” Brown said.
There is no timetable set for Simmons’ return. He joined the Sixers for his first road trip over their last two games in Boston and Brooklyn.
Simmons has been going through individualized work as part of a multi-faceted rehab program. The Sixers have focused on education, health and shooting. Brown has spent time with Simmons in a classroom-style environment studying film to make sure the rookie is caught up when he makes his NBA debut.
That off-the-court preparation was apparent to the Sixers during the five-on-none work.
“It was good having him today,” Embiid said. “I remember the first time that I had a chance to be back and script with my teammates. I think he did a good job for someone who hasn’t been around. He knew the plays, and I was happy to be on the floor with him.”
And so another box is checked off in Simmons' recovery.
“I think everybody should just feel like today in our world, and certainly in the program’s world, the city’s world, was a good day having him back," Brown said.