Shams: Joel Embiid, Doc Rivers Didn't Apologize to Ben Simmons for Game 7 Comments

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IINovember 12, 2021

Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons plays during Game 7 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, Sunday, June 20, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers and center Joel Embiid reportedly have not apologized to point guard Ben Simmons regarding their critical comments on the three-time All-Star after the team's Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the 2021 Eastern Conference semifinals.

That report is from Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic, who relayed the news on Thursday.

Rivers said the following when asked if he believed Simmons can be a championship-winning point guard:

Justin Grasso @JGrasso_

Doc Rivers says “I don’t know the answer to that question right now” when asked if Ben Simmons can be a PG on a championship-winning team <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Sixers?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Sixers</a>

Embiid referenced Simmons passing up an open layup that would have tied the game at 88:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

"I'll be honest, I thought the turning point was when we—I don't know how to say it—but I thought the turning point was just we had an open shot and we made one free throw." <br><br>- Joel Embiid on the start of the turning point in Game 7 <a href="https://t.co/kHHATQtjAz">pic.twitter.com/kHHATQtjAz</a>

Simmons passed to Matisse Thybulle, who was fouled and made 1-of-2 free throws.

Hawks center Clint Capela responded with a dunk for a 90-87 lead, and Atlanta point guard Trae Young added a three-pointer for a 93-87 edge after Embiid missed a mid-range jumper.

Simmons struggled during that series and scored just 19 points in the final three games. He also made just 33.3 percent of his free-throw attempts during the Hawks matchup.

He did finish with 13 assists in Game 7 but shot just 2-of-4 from the field for five points in 36 minutes.

It's been a long standoff between the 76ers and Simmons, who has since requested a trade. He has not appeared in a game for the 76ers this season.

Michael Kaskey-Blomain of CBS Sports broke it all down in a timeline, but for now, Simmons is working with mental health professionals as he works his way back to the court.

Simmons has averaged 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.7 assists in his four seasons, all of which have ended in 76ers playoff appearances.