The NBA is just one of the many sporting leagues across the world that is struggling with the recent surge in COVID-19 cases. With the emergence of the Omicron variant in the world, more and more players are testing positive and entering the league's health and safety protocols. As a result, several teams are left hamstrung.
Because of so many players testing positive, several teams are losing some of their most important players, and in some extreme cases, don't even have enough players to have an adequate starting 5 and bench players. As a result, the NBA has allowed teams to sign replacement players to fill these gaps.
But this concession from the league, one that was made to battle the effects of a major pandemic, is now becoming a source of hope for former players who lost their place in the NBA. And Doc Rivers revealed that many of them had been reaching out to him for another chance.
Doc Rivers spoke before the 76ers' game against the Celtics. Rivers revealed that former NBA players had been contacting him, seeking a short-term contract for a chance to play in the NBA again while helping out teams with their depleted rosters. Rivers said that he was shocked and even told one player that he did not have a place in the NBA anymore.
"I got a couple of calls from people, and I was like, You’ve got to be kidding me, You can’t play anymore. I told one of them that - you can’t play basketball, what are you talking about, a round of golf?"
Clearly, none of the players who contacted Rivers have garnered his interest. One player Rivers wishes he had right now is Ben Simmons. The controversial 76ers point guard has been away from the team this entire season, and Rivers even said that Simmons' absence can be seen quite clearly in the way the team plays.
Players like Isaiah Thomas have gotten another chance in the NBA thanks to this new allowance made by the league. But not every player is going to get that opportunity, at least not the ones who have been contacting Doc Rivers.