Doc Rivers says Ben Simmons drama spoils Philadelphia 76ers opening day fun


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Doc Rivers says Ben Simmons drama spoils Philadelphia 76ers opening day fun

NEW ORLEANS – Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers said the typical fun surrounding Opening Day is off with star point guard Ben Simmons at home on suspension from the team as his demand for a trade keeps the team dealing with the drama.

“It’s a situation we’re in and that part is not fun. It really isn’t,” Rivers said Wednesday before his team’s first game against the New Orleans Pelicans. “We can play right now and Ben can’t. I want Ben to play. That’s his job.”

Rivers expelled Simmons from practice Tuesday after he refused to participate in a drill and the team suspended him from the first game. After the announcement, Rivers said her phone lit up with messages of support, but that the experience is not something she wants to celebrate.

“Obviously, you don’t want any of those things. You get a lot of text messages, ‘great job’ and all these things and it’s not,” Rivers said. “I don’t think people understand … you want all your players to do well. You encourage your players. Even when they are in a difficult situation, you want them to do well. When you are in a position like (Tuesday), no it’s fun”.

Rivers said he hopes Simmons will rejoin the team when they return home. The team has a day off Thursday, but after returning late from New Orleans, they may not practice. The team has its first home game on Friday against the Brooklyn Nets.

Simmons will be fined $ 330,000 for missing Wednesday’s game, bringing his fines for lost games, including preseason, to more than $ 1.7 million.

“I don’t like any player losing money. There’s so much 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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