Philadelphia 76ers' Doc Rivers wants to convince Ben Simmons to stay

Doc Rivers, Philadelphia 76ers coach, wants to change Ben Simmons’ mind.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports that the star guard told the team that he won't report to training camp next week, and that he doesn't plan on playing for the team again.

Rivers stated, "Well, we hope that we can change this thought," on ESPN's Keyshawn, JWill, and Max Wednesday morning. "That's part our job."

The Eastern Conference semifinal Game 7 loss by the Hawks last season was the beginning of the disconnect between Simmons and the Sixers. Simmons missed a wide-open dunk in favor of a pass, putting an end to a confusing lack of shots in that part of the series.

Rivers stated that the best thing about sports is "you know it's fair, and you fail at times, but then you get back up on the horse and try again." You would be shocked if I said how many times you lose during a season, which is 29 teams. Because it's hard to lose. It is easy to internalize it and not be able to cope with it. We'll deal with it."

Rivers, who was quoted as saying that he wasn’t certain if the Sixers could win the title with Simmons at point-guard after the series, was given credit.

Rivers said Wednesday that Rivers had not actually meant what he was saying when Rivers was asked about the comment. This is where narratives come in... and it is what makes our jobs difficult. When the man asked me, I said, "Boys, that's not what I'm answering right now." I don't know how to answer that. What I was referring to was not answering the question. It had nothing to do Ben."

Rivers stated that he called an impromptu press conference the next day to clarify his position that Simmons could not lead a championship team. Simmons understood what Rivers meant.

Rivers stated Wednesday that it was amazing how the process starts and then takes on its own life.

Rivers was then asked if Simmons could play for him and win a title.

"Yeah, all day. All day. Rivers stated that Rivers does many things and explained how scoring is not everything.

"The Ben Wallaces of this world. It was great to see him inducted into the Hall of Fame. Rivers stated that the Dennis Rodmans of this world... help teams win titles, have Hall of Fame careers and are not great scorers." Although Ben is a great scorer, I don't think he can do more than he has. He does so many other great things that make him great.

In the regular season, Simmons averaged 14.3 point, 7.2 rebounds, and 6.9 assists. Simmons shot 56% from the floor, but only 30% from three-point range. He attempted only 10, which is a remarkable number for today's game. In 34 playoff games, he attempted two 3s.

He is still an All-Star three times and has been on the NBA's all-defensive roster twice.

Although he scored just five points in the Hawks' Game 7 loss, he had eight rebounds and 13 assists. Rivers also pointed out that Simmons limited Atlanta's star guard Trae Young to 5-of 23 shooting.

Rivers isn't content to focus on the shooting.

Rivers stated, "We forget how he gets men open shots, how pressure he puts on defenses with the athletic speed he has." Rivers said, "Yeah there are things he needs and we can work with them, but we can definitely win with him."

Rivers is determined to change the narrative but hasn't had much success this offseason. He was asked how many times he had spoken to Simmons.

He said, "Not much but we've had some." "I understand his feelings. "I understand his situation right now. But, we will continue to work together to get him to the right place."

Rivers stated that the 76ers have a shooting coach.