'Disrespectful': Teammate explodes in huge Ben Simmons backflip

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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Joel Embiid said it was 'borderline disrespectful' to leave his teammates in the lurch amid a running standoff between the Australian star and 76ers management. Pictures: Getty Images
Joel Embiid said it was 'borderline disrespectful' to leave his teammates in the lurch amid a running standoff between the Australian star and 76ers management. Pictures: Getty Images

After days and weeks of trying to convince Ben Simmons to re-join the Philadelphia 76ers ahead of the upcoming NBA season, Joel Embiid appears to have had enough.

After reports emerged earlier in the week that Simmons felt the on-court potential of his pairing with Embiid had 'run its course', Embiid appeared to have had enough when asked about it again.

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Embiid's paint-dominant low-post style clashed with Simmons' own driving and slashing game, with the latter lack of shooting (or refusal to shoot) clogging space on the court for both players.

The 76ers have cycled through a number of trades in a bid to find the correct balance of tertiary talent around the pair, with their 2019 trade for Jimmy Butler resulting in the 76ers falling short of the Eastern Conference finals on Kawhi Leonard's memorable buzzer-beater for Toronto.

Asked about the latest report about Simmons' attitude towards the pair, Embiid let his feelings known after weeks of attempting to convince Simmons to change his mind.

“I feel like over the years, our team has been built around (Simmons),” Embiid said.

“Our teams have always been built around his needs.

“Even going back to the reason we signed Al (Horford), we got rid of Jimmy, which I still think was a mistake, just to make sure he (Simmons) needed the ball in his hands and that’s the decision they made.

“The situation is disappointing, borderline kind of disrespectful to all the guys that are out here fighting for their lives.

“Some guys rely on the team being successful to stay in the league and make money somehow. Because if you’re on a winning team, you’re always going to have a spot in the league, just because you’re on a winning team and you contributed.

“We are a better team with him, there’s no question about it. We still hope he changes his mind, but I kind of owe it to these guys to worry about what we have here.”

Philadelphia 76ers to enter season without Simmons amid stand-off

Simmons' inability - or unwillingness - to take shots proved costly during last season's playoff series with the Atlanta Hawks.

He also drew criticism for his performance at the foul line, making just 34.2 per cent of his attempts (25 of 73) in 12 playoff games after shooting 61.3 per cent during the regular season.

Yet Embiid and head coach Doc Rivers have said the 76ers are a better team with Simmons on the court.

Simmons, though, appears headed for a fresh start, if Philadelphia are unable to resolve the current rift and a trade partner can be found.

According to The Athletic's Sam Amick, Simmons has been left disillusioned by both last season's playoffs, as well as a potential trade to Houston mid-season which ultimately fell through.

The Philadelphia 76ers have commenced their training camp without Australian star Ben Simmons, who has made good on his threat not to report to the team this season. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
The Philadelphia 76ers have commenced their training camp without Australian star Ben Simmons, who has made good on his threat not to report to the team this season. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

Importantly, Simmons also believes that the experiment of playing him alongside the similarly paint-dominant Joel Embiid has played out for long enough.

While according to Amick, Simmons' views on his basketball fit next to Embiid aren't a personal feud, the report will nonetheless come as a huge blow to 76ers management, who are holding out hope the former no.1 draft pick will return to the franchise this season.

"As he sees it, sources say, the organisation’s choice to build its basketball ecosystem around Embiid’s style simply isn’t conducive to the way he needs to play," Amick reported.

"So while Embiid insisted to reporters on Monday that he wants Simmons back, this much is clear: The feeling is not mutual. “It has run its course,” the source said of their pairing."

Embiid doesn't see it that way. He — and other 76ers teammates — reportedly wanted to meet with Simmons to discuss his return, but Simmons turned them down.

With AAP

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