Joel Embiid finally broke his silence regarding Ben Simmons’ reported desire to leave the Philadelphia 76ers, with the talented big man having nothing but praise for his long-time teammate, saying that he wants him back with the Sixers for next season.
Embiid took to social media a day after Keith Pompey reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer that Simmons had already spoken to the Sixers’ top brass to demand a trade. What caught Embiid’s attention, though, was an article published by USA Today with Jeff Zillgitt reporting that the Sixers had to choose between Embiid and Simmons as the rift between the two stars had been escalating.
Embiid lends support to Simmons amidst trade speculation
Embiid vehemently denied the said report, tweeting, “Stop using my name to push people’s agendas. I love and hate drama. I love playing with Ben. Stats don’t lie.” Embiid then said that Simmons is an amazing player and that they all just didn’t get the job done. Embiid added that he wants everyone back, including Simmons, as he knows they are good enough to win.
Sources “Trust me bro”!! Stop using my name to push people’s agendas. 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 https://t.co/1kq9VI9byE
— Joel “Troel” Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) September 1, 2021
Embiid continued expounding on the issue, tweeting, “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.” Embiid recalled his own experience with Philadelphia fans, saying he hadn’t forgotten how they treated him two years ago when the Philly faithful wanted him out.
He eventually won them over the past two seasons with his vastly improved play. Embiid knows the talent that Simmons has, and he implored Philadelphia supporters to be patient with their embattled superstar, saying, “Philly fans, y’all also gotta be better.”
Embiid ended his series of tweets by saying, “For clarity, I love the criticism, I love when I’m told I can’t do something. It makes me work harder to prove everyone wrong but not everyone is built like that.”
Can Embiid salvage the relationship between Simmons and Sixers?
It will be interesting to see whether Embiid’s public support of Simmons will help persuade the latter to change his mind about the trade request. The Sixers have made Simmons available to other NBA teams, but they want to get a massive haul in exchange for their three-time All-Star, who still has four years remaining in his contract.
NBA teams are reluctant to pay a king’s ransom for Simmons, though, with Daryl Morey still unable to offload the Australian star, a huge concern, given that the new season’s opening is just a month away.
Simmons appears to be taking control of the situation, reportedly telling Morey and the rest of the Sixers’ key personnel that he won’t show up at training camp if a trade still isn’t made by then. We still haven’t heard from Simmons directly, so expect more twists and turns regarding this transfer saga.
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