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Ben Simmons’ inclusion in James Harden trade talks draws blunt reaction from Doc Rivers

Ben Simmons James Harden Rockets Doc Rivers Sixers

Philadelphia 76ers head coach kept it real with his superstar Ben Simmons after reports surfaced that he was offered in the James Harden trade talks. The disgruntled Houston Rockets star was eventually moved to the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, as Simmons stayed put in the City of Brotherly Love.

Doc admitted that there was a bit of awkwardness a day after the blockbuster Harden deal went down, but revealed that there are no ill feelings between Simmons and the Sixers (h/t Ky Carlin of Yahoo Sports).

“We talked today during shootaround, so I think we’re fine,” Rivers said.

While Doc did not exactly divulge what he told the 76ers All-Star, he made it clear that players should not take being on the trade block as an insult. But rather, it’s sometimes a testament to a player’s great value and skills. Doc even likened Simmons’ conundrum to some of his own experiences back from his playing days.

“As far as your name being mentioned in trades, I just know when I was a bad player, I was never mentioned in trades and when I was a really good player I was mentioned in trades. Unfortunately, that’s part of the business. I would look at it the other way and that’s how I looked at it. The year I made the All-Star team, I was on the trading blocks that next year. That’s just the way it is. It’s our league and I looked at it that way like ‘man I played myself good enough that I mentioned in trades’.”

Ben Simmons’ name had long been associated in potential deals, as soon as James Harden cited the Sixers as one of the teams of his choice. Doc Rivers, meanwhile, certainly knows all the right things to say when it comes to delicate matters such as this one. Luckily for the Australian point-forward, he now has a coach like Rivers who he can depend on for wisdom.