The fallout Tuesday from the report that Ben Simmons no longer wants to be a Sixer is palpable.
So much so that even Joel Embiid felt like weighing in.
As the rest of us sifted through the Twitter chaos, the MVP runner-up seemed pretty unbothered by the whole thing.
It’s cool. We’ll get it done in January #HalaMadrid— Joel “Troel” Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) August 31, 2021
As we all know, Embiid is a massive soccer fan and brought some levity to the situation by incorporating his favorite team, Real Madrid.
On Wednesday, Embiid wasn’t in as good of a mood — and rightfully so.
A USA Today article cited Embiid and Simmons’ relationship as part of the reason Simmons was being shopped and is now seemingly demanding a trade. The article said the organization had to choose between Embiid or Simmons (Gee, that sounds awfully familiar).
Embiid set the record straight.
Sources “Trust me bro”!! 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 https://t.co/1kq9VI9byE— Joel “Troel” Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) September 1, 2021
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.— Joel “Troel” Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) September 1, 2021
The idea that there had ever been a rift between the two All-Stars always felt exaggerated. Both players have admitted that they’ve never been best friends — not because they don’t like each other, but because they just have different personalities. That would seem to be obvious to anyone that’s been around the two of them.
This season, it felt like their relationship had even gone to a new level. Simmons joked ahead of the season that he was moving in with Embiid. The two of them could be seen more often talking on the bench than in season’s past.
Both players talked extensively about how their relationship evolved.
“It’s been like that all season,” Embiid said back in January. “This year – not that the previous years we haven’t been very close on the court – but this year it’s just been different. I can’t even explain it. It’s just been different. I love playing with him and I’m sure he loves playing with me, too. I don’t even know how to explain it. It’s just been fun.”
Simmons agreed at that time.
“For me and Jo, I think it’s our relationship continues to grow,” Simmons said. “We talk a lot more now in terms of being on the floor and certain things we see – knowing where he wants the ball, all the sets and getting in the flow of the game and just trying to read it the right way.
“The other day he texted me and said, ‘Yo, I missed you too many times on your duck-ins. I’m going to find you.’ So just little things like that, it continues to help the team chemistry grow.”
It’s hard to believe that one comment Embiid made after an emotional Game 7/series against the Hawks undid all of that. Whatever Simmons’ reasons are for reportedly wanting out, it would be hard to believe his relationship with Embiid would be that big of a factor.
But Embiid wasn’t done there.
I haven’t forgotten but 2 years ago, I got booed, people in Philly wanted me to be traded. I even shushed them. Only the real ones didn’t but I just put the work in that offseason to be better cuz I knew I wasn’t playing up to my potential. Philly fans, y’all also gotta be better— Joel “Troel” Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) September 1, 2021
Philadelphia sports radio rips Joel Embiid:— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) February 11, 2020
“Get this bum out of this city. I don’t care for him anymore. He’s worthless. He’s fat...I don’t want him on my team”
( @SportsRadioWIP )
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.— Joel “Troel” Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) September 1, 2021
Some of those comments may not sit well with fans. I honestly get it from both sides. Embiid was again sticking up for Simmons by reminding everyone that Embiid himself was getting booed not that long ago. And the loud minority that booed Embiid were misguided.
And I think this is why we love Joel Embiid, right? He’s honest. He loves playing in Philadelphia and he doesn’t mind the criticism, but he also isn’t afraid to call the fans out.
Not every athlete that comes through Philly gets it. Embiid does. This is just more proof.