More Simmons chatter and other key takeaways from 76ers media day
The Philadelphia 76ers are in the midst of their first media day of the 2021 NBA season. As expected, Ben Simmons is not in attendance. Simmons, who everyone knows by now, refuses to speak with anyone in the 76ers organization, will be fined for missing today’s event and likely for every day he fails to show up to training camp, which begins tomorrow.
I was really hoping we would go into today and not even mention Ben Simmons once, but of course, that wasn’t going to happen. Doc Rivers and Daryl Morey were first up to speak with the media. Here’s a few quick bullet points from their session.
- Doc Rivers does not believe that Simmons has any issue with his comments after Game 7
- Daryl Morey said that Klutch came to him asking for a Ben Simmons trade and that the 76ers were not looking to trade him.
- Morey is still hopeful that Ben Simmons will return to play for the 76ers this year.
- Morey hasn’t spoken directly with Ben Simmons for roughly 6-7 weeks. Most of the communication has gone through his representation (Klutch Sports).
Next up was the big fella, Joel Embiid, who spent the majority of his time answering questions about Ben Simmons as well. Hearing from Embiid is always special and it’s pretty incredible how much he has grown as a person since he first arrived in Philadelphia.
- Embiid tried to fly out to LA to meet with Simmons, confirming the Shams report that he and his teammates were turned away.
- Embiid is basically disappointed in the entire Simmons situation because they have played really well together and still have goals left to accomplish together in the playoffs.
- Embiid stands by his Game 7 postgame comments, saying he did not call anyone out by name and that there were a lot of reasons why they lost.
- He wants Ben Simmons to come back to the 76ers and do what he’s been doing in his offseason videos because that would “definitely help” the Sixers.
- Embiid believes everyone needs to be better in handling trade rumors and what is said in the media.
Tobias Harris was much less sympathetic towards Simmons compared to some of his teammates. Harris stated that since Simmons wasn’t coming through the door, they had to operate as if they would be without him. Another key point is if he knew how things would pan out, Harris would’ve arranged for the team to meet with Simmons immediately after Game Seven and he doesn’t know if Simmons will ever return.
Matisse Thybulle followed suit with Tobias Harris’ mindset, being annoyed with the Simmons chatter and deflecting stupid questions about the specifics of their communication. A running joke amongst the group was Danny Green’s age, with both Tyrese Maxey and Andre Drummond making fun of Green being old during their pressers.
The one major positive from today was the discussion of the work ethic of the 76ers’ young core, with Doc Rivers and several others heavily complimenting the group. Tyrese Maxey said he’s never been this excited to practice while Paul Reed was pushed to work harder by Maxey and Isaiah Joe.
Outside the Ben Simmons chatter, the group looks to be in good spirits for the upcoming season and the team’s chemistry looks as strong as ever. Practice kicks off tomorrow morning with their first preseason game in exactly one week.
Mandatory Credit: 76ers