Ben Simmons upset about Doc Rivers Game 7 comments shows soft mentality
One thing has repeatedly shown up during all of the reports regarding Ben Simmons demanding a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers. That piece is Simmons being upset that Doc Rivers “threw him under the bus” with his Game Seven comments and never apologized for doing so. The fact that Ben Simmons is demanding a trade, for this reason, is ridiculous on so many levels.
I looked back throughout the 2020/2021 season and found at least seven instances where Doc defended Simmons from the media for various reasons. These comments range from the start of the season through the NBA playoffs.
Fans and media have criticized Doc for being the reason Ben Simmons hasn’t developed or wants out of Philadelphia, and while many of the other critiques are correct, I don’t agree with this one. Since Klutch forced the 76ers to have Simmons work out with his brother instead of the team, there was no chance of him developing a jump shot here. If Brett Brown publicly pleading for Simmons to shoot more didn’t do anything, I don’t think there’s anything Doc could’ve done.
So, instead of fixing him, Rivers worked to Simmons’ talents and continued to use him as the team did in years prior. And while Simmons is upset about the Game Seven comments, he seems to conveniently forget all of the instances Doc went to bat for him.
The most notorious instance was around the start of the NBA playoffs when he fought with the media in a post-game press conference saying they never focus on all the good Ben dies and just harp on the negative. Unfortunately, Doc Rivers wasn’t the one who passed up a wide-open dunk and made the right choice to place some of the heat on Simmons.
If Ben Simmons demands a yes-man coach, which looks to be the case here, there is genuinely no changing in his playstyle. And yes, I agree there is a lot to blame on Doc for the 76ers’ playoff performance, most notably his heavy usage of the bench no matter what.
A trade is bound to happen soon, and thankfully, the Sixers will be rid of this problem forever. While Joel Embiid is correct about his comments about the fans, an NBA All-Star should be able to take criticism from their head coach without packing up and leaving town.
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