Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers is starting to get very irritated with the ongoing Ben Simmons drama surrounding his team.
Last week, reports surfaced confirming what everyone had been expecting for months – Simmons was done in Philly. He had zero intention of attending training camp, and he partially blamed Rivers for poisoning his relationship with the organization.
On Monday, Rivers stepped up to the podium to discuss a myriad of issues.
When talk turned to Simmons, however, he snapped.
Sixers Media Day is off to a jolly start.
Doc Rivers says he doesn’t believe his comments about Ben Simmons not being a championship-caliber point guard is the reason Ben wants a trade. pic.twitter.com/MOMZeqx8ZD
— Chris W. Crouse 🏙 (@NBACrouse) September 27, 2021
“There’s sometimes called intent when you talk,” Rivers said of his comments following the 76ers’ exit from the playoffs last year when he threw Simmons under the bus.
“Clearly, what I said was, ‘Guys, I’m not answering that. I don’t know right now.’ We just finished a Game 7 and that question was asked. I just wasn’t talking about it. I wasn’t answering that.
“I still think the world of (Simmons). I think the world of him as a player. Just because he doesn’t do certain things that you want him to do doesn’t mean he’s a bad player. He made the All-Star team. He almost won the Defensive Player of the Year Award.”
Rivers then added that he doesn’t think his relationship with Simmons has played a role in the latter’s trade demands.
Clearly neither side in this little war is willing to budge. A trade is inevitable, but it’s unclear when precisely it will happen.
The Sixers have made their asking price for Simmons known. A few days back, the Cleveland Cavaliers put a trade package out there for the young swingman’s services, but thus far Philly has not responded.
Several weeks ago, the two teams came forward with fairly hefty offers for Simmons – only to get rejected by Sixers brass.
Now that the season is on the horizon, a sense of urgency to get something done has kicked into overdrive. Philly has made it abundantly clear how it plans to punish Simmons for not showing up.
A Chiefs player couldn’t stop checking out the owner’s daughter yesterday. The photos speak for themselves. https://t.co/Dbk5ifxWwi
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 27, 2021
Simmons, conversely, has expressed a willingness for things to get ugly between him and the front office in order to force a trade.
At the moment, there doesn’t appear to be a resolution in sight. Will that change in the coming weeks? Time will tell.