Ben Simmons may have missed his last playoff free throw with the Sixers. Simmons will not report to Philadelphia’s training camp next week and prefers to continue his NBA career with another team, a person with direct knowledge of the player’s plans told the Associated Press Tuesday. Simmons said after the season, “I love being in Philly.” Not anymore. Simmons, the No. 1 pick of the 2016 draft, is a three-time All-Star who had been paired with Joel Embiid as the franchise cornerstones as the Sixers chase their first NBA championship since 1983. Simmons, though, took the brunt of the blame for the top-seeded Sixers’ second-round exit in last season’s playoffs. He shot 34 percent from the free-throw line in the postseason and was reluctant to attempt a shot from anywhere on the floor late in games.
Thunder to require vaccination proof
Fans of the Oklahoma City Thunder will be required to provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative coronavirus test to attend games in person, the team announced. The policy will be in effect for the first 12 games of the preseason and continuing into the start of the regular season. The team also strongly recommends fans wear masks while attending games.
Redick announces retirement
J.J. Redick, the sharpshooter who was the Associated Press college player of the year at Duke before embarking on a 15-season NBA career, announced his retirement. Redick, 37, played with six NBA teams — Orlando, the Clippers, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Milwaukee and Dallas. He averaged 12.8 points in 940 regular-season games, and his 1,950 career makes from 3-point range rank him 15th in NBA history in that category.
Nets don’t anticipate vaccination problems
Brooklyn general manager Sean Marks said he doesn’t anticipate any Nets being unable to play because of vaccination rules when the NBA season begins next month. Marks said the entire roster wouldn’t currently be eligible to play in New York, but the Nets don’t open their season until Oct. 19. The NBA told teams that because of local regulations in New York and San Francisco, players on the Nets, Knicks and Golden State Warriors would need to be vaccinated without exemptions for medical or religious reasons. The Nets open training camp next Tuesday in San Diego and won’t play in New York until their exhibition home opener Oct. 8 against Milwaukee.
Drawing contact a point of emphasis
Following suggestions from the league’s competition committee, the NBA has spent time this offseason teaching its referees how to handle when offensive players are making non-basketball moves with hopes of drawing contact from defenders — something that will be a point of emphasis this season. Such plays will merit either a no-call or an offensive foul.
Flyers’ Hayes out 4-6 weeks
Flyers center Kevin Hayes will miss 4-6 weeks after he had abdominal surgery. Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said Hayes was skating with his teammates Monday at the team complex in Voorhees, N.J., when he “felt something in his groin.” Hayes had surgery and could miss roughly the first 10 games of the season. Hayes scored 12 goals and had 31 points in 55 games last season in his second year with the Flyers …The Wild signed left wing Kirill Kaprizov to a five-year, $45 million contract, ending a stalemate between the team and the Calder Trophy winner just two days before the beginning of training camp. The 24-year-old Kaprizov topped NHL rookies with 27 goals in 55 games last season.
Messi to miss next game for Paris Saint-Germain
Lionel Messi will miss Paris Saint-Germain’s next French league game at last-placed Metz after a knock to his left knee. A scan confirmed “the signs of bone contusion,” PSG said in a statement. Another assessment will be made in 48 hours. Messi was taken off in the 75th minute of his home debut Sunday, when PSG beat Lyon, 2-1.
Georgia Tech women’s basketball on probation
The NCAA placed Georgia Tech’s women’s basketball program on probation for three years, citing violations committed under former coach MaChelle Joseph that included players being forced to practice longer than the rules allow and on scheduled off days. The investigation also found that players feared reprisals from Joseph if they spoke out, and cited “a tense and strained relationship” between the coaching staff and the school’s compliance office. Both the men’s and women’s programs at Georgia Tech have landed on probation, a situation that prompted the governing body to also order a comprehensive compliance review of Georgia Tech’s athletics department by an outside agency.
Sixth-seeded Kerber bounced
Unseeded Jil Teichmann upset sixth-seeded Angelique Kerber, 6-2, 6-3, to advance to the second round of the Ostrava (Czech Republic) Open. Three-time Grand Slam champion Kerber struggled with her serve, dropping it three times in each set in the first meeting between the two players on the circuit.