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#pounditSaturday, June 3, 2023

Austin Rivers seemingly accuses Ben Simmons of lying

Austin Rivers before a game

Nov 30, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Austin Rivers (25) arrives at the Toyota Center prior to the game against the Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Simmons did a lot of complaining about his time with the Philadelphia 76ers in an interview that aired this week, and Austin Rivers implied that the former No. 1 overall pick was not truthful about the way things went down.

Simmons discussed a wide range of topics during an appearance on “The Old Man and the Three,” which is a podcast hosted by his former teammate JJ Redick. One of the questions Redick asked is why Simmons returned to practice ahead of last season after he had held out prior to that. Simmons said he was “trying to do the right thing” and blamed Sixers coach Doc Rivers and other members of the team for making his life difficult.

Simmons was uncooperative after he reported to the 76ers. That led to Rivers kicking him out of practice and a suspension. Simmons shared his side of the events.

“I was trying to do the right thing and I just was not in that place to play. I just couldn’t do it,” Simmons said. “Getting kicked out of that practice that day, I actually spoke to Doc before practice. I was like, ‘Doc, mentally I’m not ready. Please just understand that.’ I tried to let him know prior. He was like, ‘I’m gonna put you in anyway.’ Told me to get in. It was like one minute into practice and he’s like, ‘Hey, get in!’ First of all, no one’s doing that. You’re doing this on purpose. That’s how I felt. It seems like everyone’s just trying to f— with me now.”

You can see the video below, but beware that it contains inappropriate language.

Austin Rivers, Doc’s son, was among those who commented on the Instagram post. One commenter praised Simmons for doing what was best for his own mental health. Austin replied and expressed disbelief that some people actually believe Simmons’ side of the story.

There are more than a few people who believe Simmons was using his mental health as an excuse to force a trade. One report claimed even the Sixers thought that was the case. Simmons seemed to blatantly ignore his teammates and turn his back on them. He says that is because he was not mentally ready to rejoin them at the time. Skeptics feel that was just his way of forcing Philadelphia’s hand.

Only Simmons knows the truth, but Austin hardly the only person who believes his father was dealt an impossible hand with the Simmons situation.


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