Doc Rivers has backtracked from comments he made following the Philadelphia 76ers' Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals and hopes to convince Ben Simmons to report to camp.
"Well, I hope we can change that thought," Rivers said on ESPN. "That's part of our job."
Both the 76ers and Simmons have sought a trade this offseason but nothing has materialized.
"The greatest thing in sports is, you know it's fair, you fail at times and then you get back on the horse and try," Rivers said. "You would be amazed if I told you how many times through a summer when you don't win, which is 29 teams, how often you have to go through something similar to this. Because losing's hard. People internalize it, and you have to deal with it. So we're going to deal with this."
Rivers was credited with saying that he wasn't sure if the Sixers could win a title with Simmons at point guard.
"That's not what I said, actually," Rivers interjected Wednesday when asked about the comment. "This is when narratives ... and this is what makes our jobs hard. I actually said when the guy asked, guys, I'm not answering that stuff right now. I don't even know how to answer that. So what I was talking about was not answering the question. It had nothing to do with Ben."
Rivers was asked if Simmons can play for him and win a championship.
"Yeah, all day. All day. He just does so many things, man," Rivers said, going on to explain how scoring isn't everything.
"The Ben Wallaces of the world. It was great to see him go into the Hall of Fame. And the Dennis Rodmans of the world ... help teams win titles and have Hall of Fame careers without being great scorers," Rivers said. "I do think Ben can score way more than he has scored, but that's not what makes him great. What makes him great is all the other things he does."