This Doc Rivers quote on Ben Simmons and Donald Trump blew me away
The Philadelphia 76ers are entangled in the Ben Simmons drama at the start of a new season.
To recap: Simmons formed another all-star team and helped the Sixers secure the No.1 seed in the Eastern Conference, then had a terrible second-round streak in the playoffs defined by a historically bad free throw and a reluctance to shoot in the fourth quarter (even on wide open dunks) inasmuch as Atlanta hawks removed the upheaval. Head coach Doc Rivers and his superstar teammate Joel Embiid threw Simmons under the bus for his poor performance at the end of the series, and Simmons told Philadelphia he wanted to be traded. The Sixers demanded the world for Simmons and never made a deal, and now Simmons says he’s going to hold training camp until he’s finally dealt with. It’s a mess.
Before the Sixers show up for training camp next week, Rivers took to MSNBC to promote a new podcast he is talking about called “It Was Said: Sports.” The podcast focuses on iconic sports speeches – “Including the poem” For America “by Jack Buck following the attacks of September 11, Muhammad Ali protesting against the Vietnam War, Billie Jean King defending equal pay” – and explains why they continue to resonate with us to this day.
During his interview with host Willie Geist, Rivers was asked about business demand for the Simmons. Rivers said the team were trying to convince Simmons to stay in Philadelphia, but they were struggling to change their mind. This led Rivers to make a bizarre and objectively hilarious comparison.:
“There are times that I think we’re going through,” Rivers admitted. “And there are times when I think I’m talking to people who still believe Trump won the election. So I’m not sure, but I’ll keep trying.
No matter what Rivers and the Sixers say to Simmons, they can’t convince him to return to work for the team despite being on contract for the next four years. To Rivers, it sort of sounds like right-wing voters who refuse to accept that Trump lost the presidential election to Joe Biden. What the hell.
It’s just classic Rivers here. He flatters the MSNBC audience who dislike Trump. He flatters Philly’s sports fan base when he talks about Simmons’ stubbornness. It makes a connection that really doesn’t make sense. It is beautiful and scandalous and totally unnecessary.
Rivers ‘comments about Simmons after the Game 6 loss to the Hawks played a big part in Simmons’ desire to step down. Rivers tried to revisit these comments recently., but it doesn’t seem to work. Rivers comparing him to Trump’s superfans for no reason probably isn’t going to help matters.
It’s going to be a weird season in Philly.