Joel Embiid Rips 76ers’ Ben Simmons for Continued Drama
76ers leader and superstar Joel Embiid addressed the seemingly endless drama circling the team Tuesday after Simmons was kicked out of practice by head coach Doc Rivers. In case there was any doubt, Embiid wasn’t going to stand up for his disgruntled teammate.
“At the end of the day, our job is not to babysit somebody,” Embiid said, giving reporters a harsh categorization of his teammate. “We get paid to go out, play hard, win some games…we don’t get paid to try to babysit somebody. That’s not our job and I’m sure my teammates feel that way.”
“At this point, I don’t care about that man, honestly,” Embiid continued of Simmons. “He does whatever he wants. That’s not my job…I’m only focused on trying to make the team better, win some games, play hard every night and try to lead the guys that we have here.”
Simmons wants out of Philadelphia, but the Sixers were intent on building leverage to boost the All-Star’s trade value. After refusing to attend training camp, Simmons finally returned to the Sixers from his lengthy holdout last week, but all was not resolved.
Before the weekend, a damning report alleged some within the organization believe Simmons attempted to force his way out of a playoff game last season with a fake Covid-19 exposure. Surely unappreciative of the report, Simmons arrived at Sixers practice to avoid getting fined but was unmoved to actually participate.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Simmons was asked by Rivers to participate in a defensive drill and the versatile guard declined. Rivers ultimately asked Simmons to go home, and the Sixers tacked on a one-game suspension for the team’s season opener Wednesday night.
It remains to be seen whether Embiid and his Sixers teammates will welcome Simmons back a second time, or if the 25-year-old All-Star is willing to just sit home and get fined for every game missed.
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