By Jerry Wein
The Sixers Ben Simmons was named to the East All-Star team for the third season in a row and Tobias Harris was aced out.
“I was really happy for Ben,” Sixers coach Doc Rivers said. “I was pretty positive he would make it. Coaches look at the whole game; they look at all the things that Ben does. It’s funny, every coach I talked to — literally every Eastern coach I talked to, when I said, ‘Hey, I’m calling on behalf of Ben and Tobias,’ they were like, ‘Ben? Why are you calling about him?’ It was funny how they looked at it and how the outside world looked at it. I thought that was interesting. I was pretty confident. I told Ben, ‘There’s no way you’re not (in).’
“I was really hoping for Tobias. I do believe he deserves it. He’s been an All-Star player this year for us. We have the best record in the East. Because of that and the way he’s played, I thought he deserved to be on it. I think we have to keep analyzing how guys get numbers and how they affect winning.”
Rivers thought Harris dealt with the news as well as one possibly could.
“He’s as mature as anybody in our locker room, including the coaches,” Rivers said. “He’s just a mature kid. He clearly wanted to make it, and I clearly wanted him to make it. But the best way to handle the disappointment is go out and show people you can play. Go out and get 23 points, seven rebounds and five assists, and two blocked shots. That’s what Tobias has been doing all year. Maybe we keep winning and go win the whole thing, and then next year he will be on it. … Hopefully, that’s the case for him.”