Ben Simmons' stalemate with the Philadephia 76ers reached its climax after head coach Doc Rivers reportedly kicked out the young socialite forward for refusing the join drills during team practice. Former player Paul Pierce, who played under Rivers, explained how hard it is to get kicked out by Doc.
Doc Rivers one of the coolest coaches around
Paul Pierce and Doc Rivers share a special bond: they won a championship together in Boston. In the last stage of Pierce's career, the two briefly reunited in Los Angeles for two years.
When asked about the ongoing dilemma between his former coach and Ben Simmons in Philadelphia, which resulted in the forward getting booted out of practice, Pierce claimed that what happened must have been out of the ordinary. He added that Rivers is one of the coolest coaches, as revealed during his interview on The Cedric Maxwell Podcast.
“If Doc kicks you out of practice, that’s bad because I ain’t never seen that. I think I saw Doc kick a player out maybe once? Doc ain’t going to kick you out for nothing. You really have to be an ass**le for Doc to kick you out because Doc’s one of the coolest coaches.”
Paul Pierce, The Cedric Maxwell Podcast
Doc Rivers’ checkered past
It's natural that Pierce only has something good to say to Doc but is Rivers one of the coolest coaches around? A checkered past begs to disagree. The current Sixers head coach was involved in some tensions with his past players.
Ironically, Rivers also had his own Ben Simmons episode during his playing days. Rivers held out as a player for the Clippers in the 1991-92 season, but unlike Simmons, he got paid despite missing practices or games.
“I was at home the whole time. I was worried about getting fined and I got the money back, obviously, in that day you could.”
Doc Rivers, Sixers Wire
Many NBA personalities think that Rivers and the Sixers kicked out Simmons so they could hold out his pay. In doing this, does Rivers have the right to sanction his player, given he also did it way back? Doc's unsuccessful stints in Los Angeles with the Clippers also resulted in not-so-good moments with Paul George, who claimed that the coach misused him.
But never has a player said Doc wasn't cool. As a former player, one of Rivers' greatest strengths as a coach is building relationships with his guys. If Doc Rivers kicks you out, you really did something very wrong. This is a power struggle between Daryl Morey and Rich Paul, a battle in which Doc is only playing his part.
But once you step on the court, you owe your coach and your teammates a certain amount of respect. No matter how cool he may be, that's something even Doc doesn't stand for.