It wasn't enough for Ben Simmons to be a liability in the playoffs. He won't be satisfied until he tears the Philadelphia 76ers apart and sends them back to the bottom of the NBA standings. That seems to be his goal.
Otherwise, he would've embraced some criticism and taken some responsibility for his flaws and lack of offensive development throughout the years. Instead, he's decided never to show up his face in Philadelphia again, as if the Sixers don't have fans all over the country drooling at the thought of booing the hell out of him.
And, even though he'd been more diplomatic than you'd expect, true superstar Joel Embiid finally decided to break the silence on this situation. According to the big man, the Sixers were always built around Simmons' needs -- or flaws, and that's what makes this such a disappointing scene.
Sixers News: Joel Embiid Says Ben Simmons' Attitude Has Been Weird, Disappointing, And Disrespectful
(Transcript via The Athletic)
“Like I said, it is disappointing,” Embiid said of the situation. “But I feel like over the years, the way our team has been built around — like you look at last year, you got the whole starting lineup shot — I was the worst 3-point shooter in the starting lineup, and I shot 38 percent from 3.”
“We’ve always had shooters, and I feel like I can really play with anybody and I can make anybody be better on the court,” Embiid said. “I don’t necessarily need shooters, but I feel like over the years, you look at like when we signed Al (Horford), it’s because we needed a stretch five just to make sure that was formed. Most of my career I’ve had to kinda step out to the 3-point line, which I don’t mind. I like to be a basketball player. I like to do everything on the basketball court. But I feel like our teams have been built, whether it’s the shooting needed or the stretch five and all that stuff, I feel like we’ve had it here.”
“And we still have (shooting),” Embiid continued. “We’ve got Seth (Curry), like I said, one of the best 3-point shooters ever. Danny Green, Tobias (Harris) is a 40 percent 3-point shooter. Furkan (Korkmaz) coming off the bench, at times Shake (Milton) I think can be a better shooter, but you know, he can get hot. We just added Georges (Niang). So I feel like our teams have always been built around his needs.”
“So it was kind of surprising to see,” Embiid said. “I’ll always say that even going back to, I mean the reason we signed Al is (him). We got rid of Jimmy (Butler), which I still think was a mistake, just to make sure that he needed the ball in his hands and that’s the decision they made.”
“Like I said, it is surprising, but I’m really focused on the guys that are here,” Embiid said. “The situation is weird, disappointing, borderline kinda 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 gonna 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. We are a better team with him. But like I said, it is surprising but I’m focused on the guys that are here.”
Well, shots fired. And rightfully so. Simmons has every right to be mad at Doc Rivers for his comments but more than that, he should be mad at himself. That organization waited for him to be healthy, that organization gave him -- and took away -- the players he needed around him. That organization signed him to a massive deal.
The Sixers, the fans, and his much better teammate deserve better than this, and he should be mad at himself first and foremost.