Following Ben Simmons’ grand disappearing act during Game 7 of the NBA Eastern Conference Semis that ultimately led to the 76ers defeat at the hands of the Atlanta Hawks, NBA hall of famer Scottie Pippen blamed Simmons’ bad play on Philly coach Doc Rivers.
In a new interview with GQ, Pippen discussed several topics, including what he believes Kevin Durant still needs to improve on, playing with Michael Jordan, and why he thinks Rivers set Simmons up for failure.
“I watched a lot of games that Doc [Rivers] shouldn’t have had him in, in the fourth quarter,” he said. “If I give you a deck of cards and I give you a deuce of heart and a deuce of diamond, and we playing Spades, why you keep grabbing those cards when you know you’re gonna lose in that category? This kid been this way the whole time and Doc brought him in and set him up for failure.”
Pippen continued, “He been like this! And you guys know he been like this. And Doc kept putting him in the game, he kept letting that team do fouls on him. Take him out the game! The Lakers did it with Shaq, and he’s bigger and more dominant and probably more fearless than Ben Simmons. Doc made him be a failure.”
Pippen went on to say that he still believes Simmons to be a great player, but that he needs to improve his shooting. This sentiment has been mirrored by many basketball pundits and fans alike, triggering many questions about where the former All-Star might end up next season.