Doc Rivers appeared on First Take to talk Ben Simmons
Sixers Head Coach Doc Rivers continued his rounds at ESPN on First Take with Stephen A. Smith. The topic? Ben Simmons, of course. Now, I’m sure many of you have seen snippets of his conversation quoted on Twitter by now. In fact, you’ve probably seen the whole thing, considering it was only a little over two minutes long. I highly recommend you watch or don’t. The gist is, Doc wants Ben back, but he’s not losing any sleep over it.
Don’t get me wrong, having Doc appear on a national network to let the people know he still wants Ben on the team was needed. Getting out a message like that is necessary when trying to reason with someone who only seems to care about the media. Combine that with Klutch Sports having media mouthpieces scattered across the country, and it becomes almost required.
The issue was it felt like it was precisely that: required.
Don’t get it twisted. I’m not here to defend Ben Simmons. I’m not here to say he has every right to leave. And I’m definitely not here to blame Doc or the organization for Ben sitting out and demanding a trade.
What I am here to do is critique this move by the Sixers because it was a complete waste.
I get it. The organization doesn’t want a primadonna douchebag like Ben Simmons to tank his trade value by acting like a third-grader at recess. I also understand that Doc probably had no desire to get on TV and talk about this. He didn’t look like he wanted to be on the sideline in Game 7 against the Hawks. So why would Doc care about doing this?
Even if he was so over all of Ben’s antics this offseason, I still needed a little bit more from Doc. I don’t care about stroking Ben’s ego. I just need him comfortable and willing to come back, so his leverage isn’t in complete shambles.
If I were Ben and Rich Paul, I’d take that TV appearance as a slight. Granted, they’d feel that way even if all of Sixers ownership, Joel Embiid, and Julius Erving himself stripped naked, fell to their knees, and groveled for forgiveness.
Maybe I’m just lashing out at Doc because I’m pissed about the whole situation. Regardless, I just need us to get some decent value for Ben Simmons. I never want to see him in a Sixers jersey again.
At the same time, maybe a classic love jam from the front lawn of Ben’s LA mansion could suffice.
Mandatory Credit: me.