Earlier this week, the Philadelphia 76ers picked up a big win over the Memphis Grizzlies without their top star, Joel Embiid, on the court. Philadelphia's current starting point guard Tyrese Maxey shined in the overtime win with 33 points in 42 minutes.
Just as Maxey and the Sixers gave everybody in Philadelphia a reason to forget about the Ben Simmons saga, ESPN's Ramona Shelburne published a piece that would shed even more light on the situation the following morning.
While most updates regarding the Simmons saga haven't been anything groundbreaking, Shelburne added a few more interesting tidbits about Simmons' frustration with the Sixers.
Per Shelburne, Simmons is upset that Doc Rivers didn't make an effort to come to see him during the offseason. Also, the report confirmed what many assumed — Ben Simmons wasn't thrilled with Rivers' postgame comments after Game 7 against the Atlanta Hawks last year.
Tom Moore of The Bucks County Courier Times spoke to Rivers on Tuesday not too long after Shelburne's piece came out. Rivers, who praised Simmons way more than he criticized him publicly last season, didn't mince words following the latest update.
“There’s nobody that’s been more supportive than me. I have a tape someone sent me of almost an hour of me over and over (praising Simmons). You heard me last year every day. It’s all posturing. That’s why you haven’t heard me — I don’t get involved in all that stuff. I’ll leave that up to the front office and Ben’s camp. I’m staying out of that part. But, listen, some of this stuff I laugh at and I feel bad. I think Ben’s a good kid. I want Ben to do well. I always have supported Ben. I want him to do well. It’s just the excuses and all that stuff. One of the things I tell all my players is that respect is a two-way street, especially these young guys. You can’t expect to ignore us or not listen and then want us to do something different to you. You have to respect each other to be successful in life.”
Rivers has taken the same stance regarding Simmons all season long this year. As the three-time All-Star guard isn't around, the head coach doesn't see a need to talk about how much the Sixers miss him since they don't know if and when he'll be back.
If Simmons wants to return to the Sixers eventually, Rivers will welcome him back with open arms as he made it known the 76ers could use him again. But as Simmons is off the floor, Rivers can only control what happens on the court.
Negotiating and executing trades isn't in Rivers' job description. Therefore, Rivers has made it known on several occasions that any Ben Simmons-related trade questions should be referred to the team's President of Basketball Operations, Daryl Morey, or the General Manager, Elton Brand.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.