Doc Rivers update on Ben Simmons didn’t sound promising last night
Things have been relatively quiet on the Ben Simmons front over the last week. After Simmons addressed his teammates before the Brooklyn Nets home opener and accepted some responsibility for everything that happened during the offseason leading into the 2021 season, we were told that Ben Simmons needed some time to prepare mentally before rejoining the Sixers and returning to the court. Tobias Harris and Joel Embiid both spoke on Simmons and how we should support him before and after the Nets game, but since then, there really hasn’t been much news on Simmons.
Yes, we went through the whole NFT, social media picture updates last week, and got a few generic updates about him practicing with the team and being in good spirits. Things finally seemed to be trending in the right direction. Last night, Doc Rivers spoke with the media and sounded like he was frustrated yet again with the situation surrounding his star point guard.
The 76ers have been adamant on getting Ben Simmons back on the court. Honestly, it makes perfect sense. If Simmons returns to the court, plays well and shoots the basketball, his trade value would skyrocket. Right now, no one has a clear picture of where Ben Simmons is at mentally or physically, because he hasn’t played in a real basketball game since last season.
When asked about the plan to get Ben Simmons back with the team, here’s what Doc Rivers said last night:
“I have no idea, honestly. I stay out of it. I really do. My job is to coach the guys who are here and believe that the guys who are on the team will play someday. That’s all I have to be as a coach. I don’t get caught up in all the stuff, the clutter, I guess we could say it is. I try to stay out of it as much I can.”
That quote from Doc Rivers is anything but promising. The Sixers stopped fining Ben Simmons as he continues to work through mental health issues that are currently keeping him from playing. Of course, with the distrust surrounding Ben Simmons and his actions over the last five months, I understand why fans would question if there really is an issue, or the next step in Ben Simmons trying to avoid getting fined, but still refusing to play for the 76ers. Based on Doc Rivers’ quotes last night, I don’t think it’s crazy to assume that we are on that next step, rather than a real issue, but to be clear, we obviously have no idea what Simmons is thinking.
So when will he rejoin the Sixers? Doc Rivers answered that question last night as well.
“I think it’s gonna be a team decision, but again, I don’t know. I honestly don’t know.”
Again, that doesn’t sound promising at all. Yes, Simmons is at practice. We saw pictures of him working out on an exercise bike yesterday and he has been going through medical treatment, both physically and mentally, before returning at full strength.
“Nothing right now on the floor, that’s more medical stuff than anything else, but he’s been engaged and things like that which is good.”
Again, nothing really major here but you would think Doc Rivers and the 76ers organization have a plan moving forward. I have no idea how this is going to end. It honestly wasn’t the update I expected to hear. How long will the Sixers go having Ben Simmons get paid while not actually playing? We’ll just have to wait and see.
There definitely has to be a cutoff and fines must start again if this continues weeks or maybe even months. First, I would think a group of third party doctors would have to come in and address the situation and provide some insight into what Ben Simmons is going through, both physically and mentally, and get us a timetable on when he will return.
As we have been doing for almost five months now, we’ll just have to wait and see. Great.