Reports have surfaced this summer that the All-Star point guard has completely cut off communication with the team in hopes that he’s traded before the 2021-22 NBA season. Just this week, new reports stated Simmons doesn’t intend to report to training camp, and his relationship with Joel Embiid is broken beyond repair.
But Embiid just squashed that notion with a frustration-fueled string of tweets, and he tossed a life raft overboard to his sinking Sixers teammate in the process.
Ben Simmons reportedly wants out of Philly
It’s been an eventful offseason for Simmons and the 76ers. The 25-year-old star was crucified by fans and media pundits after his dismal performance against the Atlanta Hawks in the playoffs, and trade rumors have followed him like a dark cloud ever since.
It appears as if he’s finally hit his breaking point.
On Tuesday, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Simmons told the Sixers he wants to be traded this offseason, and he’s prepared to skip training camp if that doesn’t happen in the next month. It’s not necessarily a surprising development considering the hate Simmons has received from the Philly faithful this summer, but it sure is a drastic move that could easily backfire in his face.
Turn those notifications on, Sixers fans. A trade could be coming at any moment now.
Joel Embiid defends Simmons by bashing recent reports
Later on Monday night, Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY Sports reported that an unnamed source told him the “Simmons-Embiid rift had been escalating,” and the Sixers are being forced to choose between the two.
Embiid, who’s always scrolling his Twitter feed and staying up to date on the latest news, had something to say about Zillgitt’s report.
“Sources “Trust me bro”!! Stop using my name to push people’s agendas,” Embiid wrote in a reply tweet Wednesday morning. “I love and hate drama. I love playing with Ben. Stats don’t lie. He’s an amazing player and we all didn’t get the job done. It’s on me personally. I hope everyone is back cuz we know we’re good enough to win.”
Well, that was surprising to read — especially considering Embiid’s critical comments on Simmons after Philly’s playoff series loss to the Hawks. But he wasn’t done bashing the media on Wednesday.
“From my own experience, y’all have no idea how much this media makes up stuff for followers and shame on you for believing them,” he wrote in another tweet.
Embiid tells Sixers fans to “be better”
Embiid evidently had a lot to get off his chest this week. After coming to Simmons’ defense against the media, he followed up by telling Philadelphia fans they also have to ease up on players who don’t take criticism very well.
“I haven’t forgotten but 2 years ago,” Embiid wrote. “I got booed, people in Philly wanted me to be traded. I even shushed them. Only the real ones didn’t but I just put the work in that offseason to be better cuz I knew I wasn’t playing up to my potential. Philly fans, y’all also gotta be better.”
Embiid’s right. Many 76ers fans wanted him off the team a few seasons ago, so he decided to use that as fuel to improve his game and win them back. That’s exactly what we’re seeing right now with Simmons. The only difference? Simmons doesn’t have the same killer mindset as Embiid or the drive to prove his haters wrong. Instead, he runs from them.
Embiid’s valiant effort to save his sinking teammate is a commendable one, but it still might not be enough to keep Simmons in Philadelphia for another season.