Yesterday Ben Simmons reiterated for the umpteenth time his intention not to wear the Sixers jersey again. That the player’s days were numbered in Philadelphia was obvious, but his rebellion stems from what he believes was a lack of respect by Joel Embiid and Doc Rivers for him after the East’s semi-final loss to the Hawks. Teammate and coach hinted in their immediate post-game remarks that there were doubts whether a champion team could be built around Simmons. Now, with the ball in the court of the franchise, Rivers has spoken out. “I tell you sincerely that we would love to see Ben come back and we are going to give it a try.”
The technical champion with the Celtics in 2008 made a brief appearance in First Take, program of ESPN Directed by Stephen A. King. There he has made a few headlines. “I did not say that. I said that I was not going to answer that question at the time. The next day I made it clear and I keep saying, we can win with Ben, ”says Rivers. Unfortunately for him, these words seem to arrive at the wrong time and with the decisions already made on both sides. Without Ben Simmons he is still a Sixers player, it is because an agreement has not been reached that satisfies the ambitions of Daryl Morey, which is going to be more complicated the closer we get to the start of the season and the situation worsens.
Parallel to this interview, the offices continue to seek solutions after threatening to declare war on Simmons if he finally does not attend the training camp. For a long time the verdict of this confrontation does not depend on which party ends up giving in, but on how and when Ben Simmons will legally stop being a Sixers player, because in practice he is no longer one.
(Cover photo by Mitchell Leff / Getty Images)