Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said it would be “disheartening” if Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons missed the All-Star team. Well, the outspoken Philly leader will have to settle for one out of two.
The league’s coaches voted in the reserves on Tuesday night and Harris was omitted from the final list. The Sixers forward has been enjoying a career year while averaging 20.6 points, 3.4 assists, 7.8 rebounds per game — unfortunately, it wasn’t quite enough to steal a roster spot.
Meanwhile, Ben Simmons will make his third straight All-Star appearance after just making the cut. Joel Embiid will make his fourth consecutive All-Star start as he continues a convincing campaign for NBA MVP honors. The NBA All-Star game will be played on March 7 at 8 p.m. in Atlanta with Rivers coaching Team Durant, aka the Eastern Conference squad.
“I think anybody can get numbers on a bad team,” Rivers told reporters on Sunday, via The Inquirer. “Somebody’s got to score, you know. But I think it’s hard to play well on a good team. Much harder. I don’t think people give that enough love.”
Tobias Harris’ Agent Slams All-Star Process
Torrel Harris is the Chairman of Unique Sports Management International and represents Tobias as his agent for contract negotiations. He is well-respected throughout the industry and wasted no time in making his feelings known on his son’s All-Star snub.
He called it “disappointing” since the Sixers hold the best record in the Eastern Conference at 20-11. The team should have three representatives in Atlanta.
Harris headlined a lengthy list of notable All-Star snubs, including Devin Booker, Bam Adebayo, Trae Young, DeMar DeRozan, Russell Westbrook, among others. The East reserves were rounded out by James Harden (Nets), Jaylen Brown (Celtics), Jayson Tatum (Celtics), Julius Randle (Knicks), Zach LaVine (Bulls), Ben Simmons (Sixers), Nikola Vucevic (Magic).
Sixers Have ‘Bigger Goals’ Ahead
The Sixers were playing the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night — a team they hold a 5-25 record against in their last 30 games — and trying to keep pace with the Brooklyn Nets (20-12) in the Eastern Conference. Harris’ snub wasn’t made official prior to tip-off but Rivers attempted to explain that the individual accolades were second fiddle to a much larger goal.
“We’re playing for something bigger, honestly,” said Rivers, via SixersWire. “Making the All-Star team is phenomenal and I do think we should have three on there. If we do, great if we don’t, I still believe we should’ve had three on there, but after that, we move on to the next goal and the biggest goal for us is winning.”
Simmons agreed with Rivers’ intended championship goal while calling his third straight All-Star appearance a “real blessing.”
“To be a three-time All-Star it’s a real blessing, you know, not many people get the opportunity to do it,” Simmons told the Sixers’ official website. “So I’m very grateful to be in this position, and say I’m a three-time All-Star in the best league in the world. But the main goal is to win a ring.”