Ben Simmons opens up on relationship with Sixers star Joel Embiid
After years of going through “The Process,” the Sixers found themselves with a promising duo of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. The two top picks were expected to lead Philly into the next phase of the franchise, but that didn’t end up being the case.
Following a lackluster performance in the 2021 postseason, Simmons decided it was time for his Sixers tenure to come to an end. The saga raged on for months as he distanced himself from the team waiting for his demands to be met. In the end, Daryl Morey executed a blockbuster trade with the Brooklyn Nets to get James Harden in Philly.
Before the regular season gets underway, the former No. 1 pick sat down with Nick Friedell of ESPN for an interview. It was there that Simmons revealed he hasn’t spoken to Joel Embiid and that the two never had much of a relationship.
I don’t talk to Jo. We never really spoke.
I don’t think there was really a relationship there. Like in terms of a friendship? You can try as hard as you want to try to be close to somebody, be their friend, whatever it is, but everyone is different as people, so for me, it’s never personal. I don’t have any anger or hate towards him. He is who he is and I am who I am.
This response raises a ton of eyebrows as Embiid always wanted the best for Simmons and even adapted his game to complement his shortcomings.
Ben Simmons talks return to Philly this season
Due to a back injury, Simmons did not play when the Sixers and Nets met at the end of the regular season last year. While he wasn’t in the game, the Philly faithful still made sure he knew how they felt following the months-long saga.
Now fully-healthy, the former Sixer is expected to make his Philly debut as an opponent in November. When asked about playing against the Sixers at the Wells Fargo Center, Simmons said he is hoping to learn from the experience.
I can’t wait to go there, yeah. But for me, everything’s an experience and a learning situation. So for me I’m able to learn something that I’ve never been through before. I’ve never been traded and played against a team that I got traded from.
Who knows if he’ll actually take the floor when it comes time to play, but after these comments, he might have just added some fuel to the fire for his former teammate.
Mandatory Credit: CBS Sports