Doc Rivers talks Ben Simmons-Sixers drama on ESPN

The Ben Simmons-76ers saga is the cleaning soap opera you didn’t know you wanted.

On Wednesday, Philadelphia’s head coach Doc Rivers appeared on ESPN’s “First Take” and made one factor clear concerning the staff’s estranged star level guard: “We want him back.”

Although Simmons remains to be on the roster and has 4 years left on his $177 million max contract, the 25-year-old reportedly has no need to proceed enjoying for the Sixers.

On Tuesday, it was reported that Simmons won’t report back to coaching camp subsequent week, and that he doesn’t wish to play in a Sixers uniform ever once more.

Rivers confirmed on “First Take” that Simmons met with the Sixers entrance office, together with himself, to tell the staff he wished a commerce.

“Yeah, I mean it was a good conversation and he gave us reasons which we obviously didn’t agree with,” Rivers mentioned.

“We’re always going to do what’s best for the team, but I can tell you up front, we’d love to get Ben back and if we can’t we’re going to try to do that. Ben has a long contract. It’s in our hands and we want him back.”

Rivers went on to say that the Sixers will attempt to repair the damaged relationship with communication. In early August, it was reported that Simmons “cut off communication” with a lot of the Sixers group — and that any exchanges had been being dealt with by his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports.

“We’re going to try [to get him back] and if it doesn’t work, it’s not going to be for us not trying to get it right,” Rivers mentioned.

Doc Rivers and Ben Simmons
Getty Images

The rift between Simmons and the Sixers has performed out since June, when the All-Star level guard put on a traditionally poor efficiency within the 2021 playoffs, particularly on offense and on the free-throw line.

After Philadelphia’s Game 7 loss to Atlanta in June, Rivers got here below fireplace for his response to a reporter’s question: “Do you think Ben Simmons can still be a point guard for a championship team like the one you guys want to become?”

At the time, Rivers mentioned, “Yeah, I don’t’ know that question or the answer to that right now.” His response created a story that he didn’t imagine the Sixers may win a title with Simmons.

While on “First Take,” Rivers “wanted to correct” the state of affairs, and mentioned “we can win a title with Ben Simmons. I just believe that.”

He defined, “The question was asked about Ben [and] it was the first question after we lost Game 7. That had nothing to do with Ben, I said I’m not answering that crap. What disappointed me, was being portrayed that I said I don’t think we can win with Ben.”

Ben Simmons and Doc Rivers

In the postseason Simmons shot 34.2 p.c from the free-throw line. In the seven-game collection in opposition to Atlanta within the second spherical, Simmons tried simply three photographs within the fourth quarter — none of which occurred within the collection’ last 4 video games. 

Rivers mentioned the Sixers employed a free-throw coach and a capturing coach to work with Simmons.

“It’s about free throws. We need to improve on that… and we want to get him in the gym and get better at the free throw line,” Rivers mentioned.

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