October 4, 2023

Doc Rivers is “assuming Simmons’ going to play” as he’s on path to be cleared


AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

Ben Simmons is back in the Philadelphia area and is on a path to being cleared to play.

According to head coach Doc Rivers, he met with Simmons “several times” Tuesday. 

“He did all the stuff — all the physicals and testing and everything else he needed to do,” Rivers said. “He’ll come back in this evening and work out with the guys — well, individual workouts — until he clears (COVID-19) protocol. And we’ll go from there.”

Rivers said his conversations with Simmons were “good,” although his response when asked whether Simmons had arrived with the plan to play was curious. 

“I’m assuming he’s going to play,” he said, “but who knows, right? I don’t know. I can’t get in anyone’s head.”

Whatever for reason for not giving a not-so-good answer to that question, Rivers indicated Simmons could suit up as soon as the Sixers’ preseason finale Friday night in Detroit. 

“We’re not ruling that out at all,” he said. “Whether we play him or not, that’s going to depend on what we see this week. He’s coming from behind. … Having said that, to rush to put him on the floor, that’s a whole other subject. That will go from our eyes. What we see this week is how we’ll determine everything moving forward.”

Seth Curry also indicated Simmons won’t need to provide a detailed explanation for his holdout.

“I already know the deal,” Curry said. “I know his reasoning and what he wants to happen. I’ll be able to see from when he steps on the floor where his head is at. I don’t feel like he needs to explain anything to me. 

“He’s a grown man and he can do whatever he wants. When we step on that floor, the goal should be to win. We’ll see what happens.”

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