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Ben Simmons says there was ‘never really a relationship there’ with Joel Embiid

Another day, another interesting quote from Ben Simmons about his former team.

NBA: Playoffs-Atlanta Hawks at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Another day, another interesting quote from Ben Simmons about his former team.

Ben Simmons was out and about speaking about Joel Embiid in a recent interview with ESPN’s Nick Friedell. During the course of the interview, he spoke about his relationship with Philly fans, Joel Embiid and public criticism across social media.

The now-Nets player reflected on his time in Philly with his former Sixers teammmates, stating that he didn’t have much of a relationship with Embiid.

“I don’t talk to Jo. We never really spoke...I don’t think there was really a relationship there,” said Simmons. “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.”

It’s interesting to note that in their time together in Philadelphia, rumors of their lack of a relationship were always circling, but both players denied it around September of 2021.

“Sources “Trust me bro”!! Stop using my name to push people’s agendas,” said Embiid’s tweet in 2021. “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.”

While Simmons doesn’t imply that they had overt battles in the locker room in the ESPN piece, the relationship obviously deteriorated as the trade woes unraveled. It culminated with a still-legendary tweet from Embiid on the day Simmons was traded.

It’s unclear if the two have spoken since the trade unfolded, but Simmons says they have not. They did not acknowledge one another during warmups when the Sixers played in Brooklyn during the preseason on Oct. 3. Either way, it has been a tumultuous relationship that has seemingly ended with Simmons’ declaration.

Simmons also spoke about his return to Philly, which of course, is already marked, underlined and bolded in our calendars, and how he hasn’t had the experience of playing against a former team like his teammates Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have had.

“F---, I can’t wait to go there, yeah. But for me, everything’s an experience and a learning situation....I’ve never been traded and played against a team that I got traded from,” Simmons said to Friedell. “We’re people, too. We want to go out there and prove everyone wrong.”

It’s hard to imagine he isn’t expecting a boo-ing of thunderous proportions when he takes the court at Wells Fargo Center. He recalled receiving plenty of jeers when the Nets played last year, and that time, he was simply on the bench.

“...And that’s the competitive nature of being in a hostile place like Philadelphia, you know?” Simmons said. “I was drafted there, it ended in a way where not everyone was happy about it, but that’s basketball, right? And it’s Philly. (chuckles) Like I don’t know if that’s happening in Indiana or anything like that. That’s Philly. That’s Philly for you.”

We can’t wait for you either, Ben. See ya on Nov. 22.

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