What a difference a few months and multiple failed trade attempts end up making! The reason this is so funny is you know there's no way Doc believes this. We can say that because we already have his honest answer to this very question
I'm starting to think Doc might be under the impression that the internet doesn't exist. We all remember that presser. It's not like Doc doesn't know what it takes to win a title, he's done it. So now he wants us to believe he's had a sudden change of heart? No chance. This is damage control 101. The team obviously made it clear that Doc has to do what he can to bump up Simmons' trade value. The whole "WELL ACTUALLY...we think we can win a title with Ben!" is so sad to see at this point. There was no way he was going to double down on his postgame comment, but there's also no way he truly believes that. He's answer to Stephen A isn't even what happened! That's how you know this is damage control.
My main question here is what do this Sixers think this accomplishes? That Ben Simmons is going to watch First Take, hear Doc say this and what, change his mind? Decide that it's all water under the bridge? Or maybe is the hope that some GM will see this clip and decide "ya know what, maybe we SHOULD give up our best player for Ben Simmons, Doc believes in him now!". As an outsider looking in, this only makes things look worse. Especially when the whole world knows what you're doing. Klutch makes it known that Simmons never wants to play for this franchise again, and the very next day you're on TV talking about how much you want him and think you can win with him?
Where was this all summer? It's like when Embiid randomly started firing off all those Simmons tweets after he also buried him in that postgame presser
It's almost like they can't get out of their own way. Yes, Ben Simmons has his fair share of blame for how this all is playing out. He refuses to put in the work to improve. But what about the Sixers and how they've handled things? We all know the Harden disaster and how that played out, and then you add in how last season ended. Simmons is not the first player who wants to leave a team that tried to trade him but couldn't. Lamar Odom did it back in the day. It's a big part of why Ray Allen ultimately left the Celts to go to MIA. This isn't exactly a new concept. If you're going to try and publicly trade a player, tell him that he's about to be traded, and then don't trade him only to blame another underachieving season on him, no shit he's going to be done with you. Going on TV and openly lying isn't going to change that.
As they say, you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube. It feels like the Sixers are refusing to accept their reality, which is dangerous. You run the risk of potentially fucking up an entire year all because of this situation. Training camp opens in a week, the season is less than a month away. They are in no better of a position today as they were 2 months ago. Hard to image things drastically change in a week.
Things are only going to escalate if Simmons doesn't report to camp, and then go even higher if he sits out real games. That's very much on the table, no matter what Doc says on TV.