Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers believes that Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons deserves a tribute video from the 76ers.
Nets G Ben Simmons deserves a tribute video on Thursday 76ers coach Doc Rivers tells @BallySports. pic.twitter.com/2VYHQTJian
— 👑 Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson (@ScoopB) March 8, 2022
“Yeah, I do actually,” Rivers said when asked if he thought the 76ers should give Simmons a tribute video. “Ben did a lot of good things here. It didn’t end well, right? Just like marriages and all kinds of other things don’t end well, right? Ben did a lot of good things here.”
Simmons will not play when the Nets face the 76ers in Philadelphia on Thursday night, but he’s expected to be on the team’s bench.
The marriage between Simmons and the 76ers fell apart over the past year. Simmons was eventually dealt as part of the trade that sent James Harden to the 76ers.
Simmons’ animosity toward the 76ers was so much that he never actually played for them this season.
The stature of Simmons within the 76ers’ organization has dropped precipitously from when he was taken with the top overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft. At the time, the point guard was seen as a central component of the team’s rebuilding efforts.
During his time with the 76ers, Simmons averaged 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game. However, his performance in last season’s playoffs led to intense criticism directed toward him.
Simmons refused to report to training camp before the start of the 2021-22 regular season, and Philadelphia’s attempts to trade him were largely stopped by its excessive asking price.
While there’s been plenty of online clamoring for a Simmons tribute video, the 76ers have not publicly announced a decision.
Whether Rivers’ attitude will make a difference is unknown, but he clearly has maintained respect for Simmons.