Philadelphia 76ers added another chapter to the Ben Simmons saga as the Sixers’ All-Star Joel Embiid considers Simmons’ training camp holdout disrespectful.
Embiid got rolling when asked for his reaction to a report earlier this week from The Athletic’s Sam Amick that Simmons thinks his career is “better off” without Embiid.
(via NBC Sports Philadelphia):
“I saw (the report),” Embiid said. “I don’t know if it came from him or whatever, but over the past few months stuff has been put out there. And, looking by the reaction of him not being here, I feel like it’s fair to assume that it’s coming from … whether it’s his agent or his people or whatever.
“Like I said, it is disappointing, but I feel like over the years the way our team has been built around – like you look at last year, I was the worst three-point shooter of the starting lineup and I shot 38 percent from three.
“The situation is weird, disappointing, borderline kind of disrespectful to all the guys that are out here fighting for their lives. Some guys rely on the team to be 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.
“Obviously we’re a better team with him. We’re not a better team without him, that’s for sure. We are a better team with him but, like I said, it is surprising. But I’m focused on the guys that are here.”
Embiid also pointed out that Philadelphia did not re-sign Jimmy Butler, because Simmons wanted to have more ball-handling duties.
Things seem to get out of hand in Philadelphia, as Simmons has yet to make an official statement on the situation. At the same time, the Sixers’ front office and president Daryl Morey holds the belief that the three-time All-Star will join the Sixers at some point.
However, Embiid, who is rightfully considered the franchise player for Philadelphia, will certainly play a role in Simmons’ situation.
For the time being, the Sixers are testing out contingency plans without Simmons, including Tyrese Maxey as the first-unit point guard, but it’s unclear how the drama will resolve.