Sixers’ Doc Rivers recalls his own holdout as he relates to Ben Simmons

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The Philadelphia 76ers are currently dealing with a lot of drama as it seems that they are stuck in a never-ending soap opera with star point guard Ben Simmons. The Sixers and Simmons have been in a standoff as the embattled star looks to force his way out of Philadelphia.

Simmons missed all of training camp while also missing three preseason games in his quest to be traded. The Sixers have fined him a lot of money for not showing up to work and it is money that he cannot earn back. So, he has finally made his return to Philadelphia as he looks to figure things out on the floor.

There is one guy who understands exactly what he is going through and that is coach Doc Rivers who went through his own holdout during his playing days. Rivers held out from the Los Angeles Clippers in his one year with them in the 1991-92 season and he had some awkward interactions with them when he first showed up.

“What I remember most is, it’s a terrible story, but I’ll tell it, I decided to show up to the first practice and, like, five players were late,” Rivers began with a laugh. “(Coach) Mike Schuler introduced me to the team and I went off on the guys about being on time. I hadn’t even been with the team, but I was like ‘This is so unprofessional’. I remember saying that to guys and Schuler thanked me for it so I guess I fit in with the coach. I don’t know about the players right away.”

Rivers was fined for not showing up to work, but the difference back in his playing days was that he was able to get the money back at that point. Simmons is not in a position to do so with his $8.25 million in an escrow account and the fines he has accrued being taken away from that money.

“It was great,” Rivers continued to recall about his holdout. “I was at home the whole time. I was worried about getting fined and I got the money back, obviously, in that day you could.”

One obvious difference about the NBA now compared to Rivers’ playing days is the popularity in the sport. Everybody loves this game and there is so much pressure on players to show up and play hard in today’s age. Therefore, Rivers was able to execute his holdout without much fight. Simmons is in a different position.

“There’s just so much more media now,” the coach added. “The game is so much more popular. Guys are actually famous now. I do think there’s so many more pressures than we had. It was so easy to do it. Much harder now.”

As Simmons prepares to possibly rejoin the team at practice, Rivers is not worried about the team not accepting him back into the fold. At this point, players are professionals and they just want to win and make this work. It is just easy for players to forget and just move forward.

“I would say a natural quality and maybe not for young guys in the NBA, but definitely for older guys,” Rivers finished. “Guys get traded, I’ve played with guys that I’ve had a fight with, and it’s amazing. It could’ve been the year before you had a skirmish with a guy and right when you get traded to that team, you’re just best friends. That’s how it’s always worked.”

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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