76ers coach Doc Rivers on Ben Simmons: ‘I want him to do well. It’s just the excuses and all that stuff’
If so, it didn’t work.
Simmons crumbled in Philadelphia’s playoff loss to the Hawks. Asked afterward whether Simmons could be the point guard on a championship team, a frustrated Rivers said he didn’t know. That only made matters worse. Simmons requested a trade. He has not played this season, citing his mental health.
How fragile did the situation become? Simmons reportedly ignored Rivers’ calls and texts over the summer… then became frustrated the 76ers coach didn’t visit him anyway.
Rivers, via Tom Moore of the Courier Times:
This sounds different than when Rivers, likely in vain, was trying to coax Simmons into playing again for the 76ers. That ship has probably sailed.
Maybe Simmons needs to hear hard truths. But he was pandered to for so long. Rivers’ indirect end-of-season criticism probably hit Simmons even harder than it would have otherwise.
Again, it really seems like the toothpaste is out of the tube with Simmons in Philadelphia.