Paul Pierce: You really have to be an asshole for Doc Rivers to kick you out of practice
On October 19th, Ben Simmons was supposed to address the media for the first time after 76ers practice in Camden. As we all know by now, that didn’t happen because Doc Rivers removed Simmons from practice for refusing to sub in for a defensive drill.
Since then, we have obviously progressed in the Ben Simmons saga, with Simmons speaking with Doc Rivers and the entire Sixers team, finally taking responsibility. It was a step in the right direction and now, Simmons is taking some time away from the team to get himself right mentally. The 76ers are no longer fining him for being away.
With that said, Paul Pierce, who played under Doc Rivers in both Boston and Los Angeles, weighed in on the Ben Simmons story this week on CLNS Media’s “The Cedre Maxwell Podcast.”
Here’s a quote from the episode.
“If Doc kick you out of practice, that’s bad because I ain’t never seen (that),” Pierce said. “I think I’ve seen Doc kick someone out maybe once. Like Doc ain’t gonna kick you out for nothing, you know what I’m saying? You really gotta be an ass hоle for Doc to kick you out of practice, ’cause Doc’s one of the coolest coaches. He understands the player.”
Full disclosure, I didn’t listen to the episode but saw this story floating around the internet so I’m not really sure what he was asked and how this topic was brought up. It seems like Ben Simmons and the 76ers have gotten past this situation and are looking to be on the right track trying to fix the broken relationship between them and Ben Simmons.
I did find it weird that Pierce brought that up and continued to say that he doesn’t know if the relationship can be mended back together because it’s “so far gone.” Clearly there have been developments and a change of attitude surrounding Ben Simons in the locker room. Maybe Paul Pierce wasn’t aware of what took place last week and both Tobias Harris and Joel Embiid making statements that everyone needs to support Simmons because “he’s still our brother.”
Regardless, of who knew what, the 76ers are definitely missing Ben Simmons on both sides of the court. The pace of play on offense continues to struggle and the perimeter defense is terrible. It would be nice to see this relationship get fixed, even more so with Joel Embiid battling an injury already, just four games into the season.