It is widely thought that Ben Simmons’ trade request was a result of comments made by the 76ers head coach Doc Rivers that questioned his ability to lead a team to a title.
However, according to Rivers, that was not the case. Instead, he says, it was things that added up even from the time before he arrived in Philadelphia as a head coach.
In his opinion, those things still weren’t enough for Simmons to want to leave. But since it happened, Rivers wishes him nothing but success.
“That one comment thing had nothing to do with why Ben wanted to leave,” Rivers said. “Alright? Let me just say that. It was a lot of things as Ben told me — and publicly now — that happened long before I got there. What frustrated me was that I still think it shouldn’t have been enough to want to leave. I just didn’t and I told Ben that. I kept telling him that. This is not why you want to leave a team. You work these things out. They didn’t get worked out and so yeah, we’ve had one talk. Not a long, long talk, but we did have one good talk.”
Rivers said he hopes Simmons will do well in Brooklyn. “I want the kid to do well. I don’t have any, like, bad feelings about him. He didn’t do anything wrong to me. I just want most guys do, I really do. Now I want to kick all their butts when they’re not on my team. That’s the competitive side of me, but as a human being, I think we all should want Ben and all these guys to do well.”