Earlier this week, The Athletic’s Sam Amick reported, more or less, that Ben Simmons doesn’t want to continue playing alongside Joel Embiid. It has nothing to do with their off-court relationship and is considered more of a stylistic clash.
Embiid was asked about the report Thursday at Sixers training camp. He said that the team has always been built around Simmons’ needs, per Kyle Neubeck of Philly Voice.
Embiid pointed out his own adjustments as one of several moves the Sixers have made to make Simmons comfortable. He also pointed out the team has attempted to fill out the rest of the roster with shooters to make up for Simmons’ struggles in that regard.
Despite his comments, Embiid still wants Simmons to return to the team because he knows the Sixers won’t be nearly as good without him.
“We are a better team with him, there’s no question about it,” Embiid said. “We still hope he changes his mind, but I kind of owe it to these guys to worry about what we have here. That’s the fun of the job. To kind of figure out what’s going to happen, that’s not my job, I’m not the GM, I’m not an owner, so that’s none of my business, honestly.”
Simmons is holding out of Sixers training camp and reportedly intends to never play another game for the franchise. He has cut off all communication with the team and even denied a meeting with several of his teammates who wanted to encourage him to return for the 2021-22 campaign.
Simmons is also reportedly willing to rack up fines in order to force his way out of Philadelphia. The 25-year-old’s relationship with the Sixers began to deteriorate when the organization attempted to trade him to the Houston Rockets in exchange for James Harden.
The 76ers reportedly want a haul for Simmons, including an “All-Star-caliber player” and multiple first-round picks. However, several interested teams haven’t been willing to meet the franchise’s demands up to this point.