As the world looks in awe at the situation in Philadelphia, many are left wondering how it will all end. Will Simmons really suit up on opening day, or will he find some excuse not to show up? Will he be traded by the deadline or have to endure another full season alongside Joel Embiid?
Amid this whole ordeal, and all the questions that have surfaced as a result, tea coach Doc Rivers has been among the loudest voices trying to convince Ben to report to the team. He's even been caught joking about the situation to the media.
“I think he did his COVID test today from reports from Woj. I'm gоnna call Woj and find out what’s going on.”
But did you know that Doc himself was once in a similar position?
In a crazy case of irony, 30 years ago, in October of 1991 to be precise, Doc Rivers (who was then just a player) held out on attending Clippers training camp for weeks (much in the same way Ben did this past summer), racking up nearly $9,000 in fines over a 19-day absence.
Little-known fact, or at least a readily forgotten one, about one of the most prominent Philadelphia 76ers voices in the quest to convince Ben Simmons to rejoin his team:
Doc Rivers, Simmons' coach, held out of Los Angeles Clippers training camp as a player for nearly three weeks in October 1991.
Of courses, there is a glaring difference between Ben's activity and Doc's. You see, Rivers wasn't holding out with the intention of being traded. Instead, he was apparently trying to pressure the Clippers into giving him an extension.
Traded from Atlanta to the Clippers just a few months earlier, Rivers racked up nearly $9,000 in fines during a 19-day absence aimed at convincing the Clippers to tack a one-year, $4 million extension onto his existing contract.
Rivers didn't get the extension.
Nowadays, $4 million is a lot of money, but it's pretty standard for upper-tier role-players. Back then, however, it was more than Magic Johnson and Michael Jordaan were making.
Unsurprisingly, it didn't work and the Clippers refused to give in.
With Ben Simmons, it's the Sixers who came out on top. Only, instead of denying him an extension, they've successfully forced him to return after a months-long war.
What happens next is anyone's guess.