76ers coach Doc Rivers mentioned Wednesday throughout an look on ESPN’s “First Take” that his feedback about Ben Simmons after Philadelphia’s Sport 7 loss to the Hawks within the 2021 Japanese Convention semifinals had been “misrepresented.”
Rivers, who after the loss responded, “I don’t know that query or the reply to that proper now” when requested about Simmons’ potential to steer a championship workforce, informed ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith on Wednesday that his remarks had “nothing to do with Ben” and so they had been directed towards questions he didn’t wish to reply after the sport.
MORE: Will the 76ers commerce Ben Simmons? Up to date timeline of rumors, stories
“I used to be mainly saying, ‘I’m not answering that crap,’” Rivers mentioned. “These questions. What disenchanted me, and I don’t do that media factor fairly often. It was being portrayed that I used to be on the market saying, ‘I don’t assume we are able to win with Ben,’ And I do.”
Rivers’ feedback started myriad commerce rumors and reported rifts about Simmons, resulting in Tuesday’s report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Simmons wouldn’t report back to the 76ers’ coaching camp subsequent weekend and intends to by no means play one other recreation for the franchise.
Wojnarowski reported that Simmons hasn’t spoken to Philadelphia since a gathering in late August, when he communicated his needs to 76ers officers. Rivers mentioned he was beforehand a part of a “good dialog” with Simmons during which he gave his the explanation why he needed to go away, although he’s hopeful Philadelphia can get him to return.
MORE: Ben Simmons timeline: How 76ers star went from prime choose to polarizing commerce goal
“As soon as we get again within the fold, then we are able to get to work,” Rivers mentioned. “If that doesn’t occur, then I don’t have an expectation. I don’t know the place we might go. That may occur if it occurs. However proper now, Ben remains to be a part of this workforce and I’m going to deal with that a part of it.”
Simmons nonetheless has 4 years and $147 million left on his max contract. The 76ers might effective or droop Simmons for his time away, which might deter his willingness to remain off the ground.
For extra on the most recent commerce rumors surrounding Simmons, take a look at this timeline from Sporting Information.
Recapping Simmons’ 2021 season with the 76ers
Final season, Philadelphia completed because the No. 1 seed within the Japanese Convention with a 49-23 report. It completed among the many top-five groups within the league in common scoring margin (plus-5.9), opponent factors per recreation (108.2) and opponent efficient area objective share (51.9) in its first season below Rivers, with Simmons being named a first-team all-defensive choice for the second straight yr and an All-Star for the third consecutive season.
MORE: thirtieth anniversary of Dream Staff announcement: Who would make it now and would they beat the unique?
Nevertheless, Simmons, who has been criticized for his lack of perimeter taking pictures all through his profession, struggled mightily offensively throughout the second spherical of the playoffs. Within the 76ers’ final three video games towards the Hawks, Simmons tried simply 14 pictures and made 7-of-20 makes an attempt from the free-throw line.
Simmons shot 25-of-73 (33 p.c) from the free-throw line general throughout the playoffs, which was the second-worst share from the stripe in NBA playoff historical past for a participant with a minimum of 50 makes an attempt, in response to CBS Sports activities HQ.
MORE: Why Malika Andrews is changing Rachel Nichols for ESPN’s new present, “NBA At the moment”