NBA

Joel Embiid sounds off as Ben Simmons trade rumors continue to swirl

Joel Embiid Ben Simmons
Joel Embiid (left) and Ben Simmons (right).
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia 76ers star center Joel Embiid had been generally quiet for most of the summer, but that all changed on Wednesday.

Following reports that Ben Simmons no longer wants to be a part of the Sixers, Embiid took to social media in an attempt to cut down a report from USA Today claiming that a deteriorating relationship between the two prompted the 76ers to have to choose between the two players.

“Sources ‘Trust me bro’!!” Embiid wrote. “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.

“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.”

If the 76ers were given such an ultimatum, it probably wouldn’t be a difficult one. Embiid took a momentous step forward during the 2020-21 season, cementing his status as one of the very best centers in the game while finishing in the top three of the NBA’s MVP voting.

Meanwhile, Simmons has struggled to become the offensive force that many perceived him to be when he was drafted which, of course, only fuels the frustration from an always-vocal Philadelphia fan base.

“I haven’t forgotten but two years ago, I got booed, people in Philly wanted me to be traded,” Embiid said. “I even shushed them. Only the real ones didn’t but I just put the work in that offseason to be better because I knew I wasn’t playing up to my potential. Philly fans, y’all also gotta be better.

“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.”

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