Doc Rivers and Danny Green talked Ben Simmons after practice today and offered zero signs of encouragement
I’m sure the Philadelphia 76ers are getting rather sick of answering questions regarding Ben Simmons. Honestly, what are the supposed to say? Of course, the majority of the answers are going to be “the team is better with him” and “it’s time to come back and get to work”. However there were a few things that stuck out to me today as the Sixers wrapped up practice and held media availability.
When asked if Ben Simmons would have to apologize, Danny Green answered with the following:
“I mean, if he does, he does. If he doesn’t, he doesn’t. That doesn’t matter to us at this point, we just want everybody to come here, show up and do their part, do their jobs.”
As I said above, that’s fine. Pretty much right on par for just saying what you’re supposed to say about this entire situation.
Here’s where things started to get bad:
“I’m not asking him to do anything different than he normally does, show up to work and do what you normally do. Because what he normally does, we’re very effective. We’re very good at it, we’re the No. 1 team in the East.“
The Kill Shot:
“We’re not asking him to shoot jump shots.“
Just to wrap up the rest of the quote before getting back to the kill shot, Green continued by saying…
“Just come in, be a pro and do your job, that’s what we expect of him. If he apologizes, cool. You guys work with people every day. You don’t expect an apology from people not showing up if there’s a family issue or sickness or whatever it may be, to come in and do their job.”
I am not playing this game with Ben Simmons again. Yes, we are all asking him to shoot jump shots now. Danny Green isn’t wrong by saying that the 76ers were the No. 1 seed in the East (obviously) but look what happened in the playoffs. Now? After this type of offseason? Forget asking, we are now telling Ben Simmons it’s time to shoot jump shots.
Let’s nip this thing in the butt now. The era of letting Ben Simmons slide by doing only what he wants to do for himself is now over. Joel Embiid spoke at the start of training camp and literally said that if Ben Simmons comes back and does what we have all seen in the offseason videos that would definitely help the team. That’s the type of energy and response I expect from the 76ers moving forward.
Ben Simmons has a lot of apologizing to do. He has to address his teammates, the 76ers organization, and fans to explain what the hell has been happening over the offseason. Who was feeding the talking heads in the media reports about not wanting to face 76ers fans and not being able to play with Joel Embiid? Who said his relationship with Doc Rivers was damaged beyond repair? The stories were exhausting and clearly fed to the media to hopefully push Ben Simmons out of Philly and force a trade. Obviously, that didn’t happen.
We cannot move forward until Ben Simmons accepts accountability. My initial thoughts was the first step was taken by returning to Philadelphia unannounced without Klutch Sports representation to rejoin the 76ers.
It was a bizarre move but definitely something that put Ben Simmons out of his comfort zone for the first time in years. No one really knows what’s going to happen next. Ideally, Simmons will continue to get uncomfortable and handle this in a mature way moving forward.
Here’s Doc Rivers after practice talking about Ben Simmons.
Hardly a boost of confidence, Doc. More to come.
Mandatory Credit: NBC Sports