The Philadelphia 76ers remain at the forefront of the NBA world. With training camp just around the corner, all eyes remain on how the organization will handle Ben Simmons’ trade demand.
It’s common knowledge that the 2016 No. 1 overall pick has no interest in suiting up for Philly again after a crushing seven-game series loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Head coach Doc Rivers tried doing some damage control Wednesday during his media appearances, but it looks like Simmons and his agent — Rich Paul of Klutch Sports — have drawn their line in the sand.
USA TODAY’s Tom Moore has been breaking news about Simmons over the past few months. Earlier in the week, the long-time Philly sports columnist reported that Simmons and his camp informed the Sixers that he wants to be moved within days following the Game 7 loss to the Hawks.
Moore joined me on the latest podcast of The 30 to discuss the Simmons situation and says the Sixers played their part in the relationship deteriorating.
“After Simmons admitted he needed to be more aggressive offensively and look for his shot, and Rivers was asked about it, he denied that was the case. That was sort of the degree, sort of almost sparse, that he was going to support [Simmons], and they were going to talk about his defense and all the little things he does and they don’t need him to shoot. And it just kept happening, but no one held him accountable. No one made him do what he needed to do in terms of working with real high-level shooting coaches as opposed to his brother in the offseason and things like that to increase his confidence and his commitment, shall we say to becoming a better basketball player. So, I certainly don’t say the Sixers are blameless here.”
Moore — who has covered the Sixers since 1988 — also touched a bunch of other topics, including:
- How Rivers and Morey have handled the situation with Simmons.
- What the team expects from second-year player Tyrese Maxey.
- The differences between the three ownership groups and their approach to winning during his time covering the team.
- What Allen Iverson’s arrival in Philly meant to the organization.
- The 2000-01 season and the run to the NBA Finals.
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