76ers' Doc Rivers: 'Shame on Everyone' Who Doesn't Appreciate Ben Simmons' Game

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMay 25, 2021

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 23: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers dunks the ball against the Washington Wizards during Round One Game One of the Eastern Conference Playoffs on May 23, 2021 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Ben Simmons continues to divide public opinion. And Doc Rivers has had about enough of it.

"If you guys don't know the treasure you have by now, shame on everyone," the Philadelphia 76ers head coach told reporters Tuesday.

Simmons had an impressive 15 rebounds and 15 assists in Philly's 125-118 win over the Washington Wizards in Game 1 of the teams' first-round Eastern Conference playoff series Sunday. He also defended a number of players, including star Bradley Beal.

Paul Hudrick @PaulHudrick

Doc Rivers said he thought Ben Simmons was “special” and described him as a “treasure.” Said whoever Simmons guarded had a hard time and that Simmons created a ton of shoots for the offense.

But because he finished with just six points on 3-of-9 shooting and missed all six of his free-throw attempts, some fans and pundits criticized his game.

Perhaps some of that was fair. It's rare that a player widely considered to be a star scores so little. And Simmons' reluctance to shoot jumpers continues to make him a polarizing figure.

But it's not like he's bogging down the offense—he was plus-18 in the win. It may have been unorthodox, but Simmons got the job done.