76ers' Doc Rivers speaks on Ben Simmons, again
The Australian point guard is serving a suspension while racking up fines. The question is how does this end?
After a preseason that has been overshadowed heavily by headlines about star point guard Ben Simmons, the 76ers are still finding their feet
76ers' Doc Rivers laments
Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers admitted on Wednesday, that the normal fun and enjoyment that is present when opening day arrives, is all but non existent this year. Simmons whose request for a trade has kept the team engulfed in scandal, is serving a suspension. As a result he did not travel with the team to face the New Orleans Pelicans.
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"It's a predicament that we're in and that part is no fun. It really isn't," River stated. "We get to play right now and Ben is not. I want Ben to be playing. That's his job."
Why is Ben Simmons suspended?
Coach Rivers expelled Simmons from practice on Tuesday after he refused to participate in a drill. The team then moved to suspend him for their season opener. Rivers added that after the suspension was announced, he received numerous messages of support on his phone. "Obviously you don't want any of those things. You get a lot of texts, "great job" and all this stuff and it's not,"
Sources: Doc Rivers asked Ben Simmons to join a defensive drill today. Simmons refused. Rivers asked again. Simmons said no again.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 19, 2021
Rivers then told Simmons he should go home, and Simmons dropped the ball and left.
Rivers said. "I don't think people understand ... you want all your players to do well. You cheer for your players. Even when they're in a tough spot, you want it to go well for them, you do. When you're put in positions like [Tuesday], it's no fun."
Doc Rivers talks money and moving forward
According to coach Doc Rivers, Simmons is in fact expected to rejoin the team once they come back home. That, however, does nothing in terms of the fines he faces. The Australian was fined $330,000 for his absence in Wednesday's game. That brings his total fines for missed games to more than $1.7 million.
ESPN Sources: The 76ers have fined Ben Simmons $1.4M for his absence from four preseason games (360K each) and levied numerous team fines for missed practices, on-court workouts and meetings. He hasn’t earned any money since returning to the team on October 11.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 19, 2021
"I don't like any player losing money. There's so many things about this that I don't like," Rivers said. "But that still doesn't mean you don't have to do your job."
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