It seems like the Ben Simmons saga has come to an end... or has it? At least, we know that the former first-overall pick has reported to the Philadelphia 76ers right before the start of the upcoming NBA season.
Simmons was reportedly determined to sit out through the season if he wasn't traded. Apparently, he didn't think the Sixers were serious when they threatened to fine him until he showed up.
So, now that he's finally decided to do something and preserve his money, there are serious concerns about how his months-long tantrum could affect the team's chemistry. Joel Embiid, however, doesn't seem too worried about that.
NBA News: Joel Embiid Hasn't Spoken To Ben Simmons, Says They Will Be Fine
“Personally, I haven’t talked to him since the season ended,” Embiid told Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Obviously I tried, but wasn’t successful. A lot of my teammates have [tried].”
“I think there’s going to be some adjustments, but it doesn’t need to be awkward,” he said. “We’re all professionals. We want to win. He gives me the best chance to win, but that’s what I’m going to go with it. We’re going to be fine.”
Doc Rivers Says The Team Still Want Simmons To Stay
Coach Doc Rivers also said that the team still wants Simmons to be a part of the organization going forward, although he admitted that he doesn't know whether Ben changed his stance on being traded:
“We’ve said from Day 1 what we wanted,” Rivers said. "That we would love to get him back. Other than that, honestly there’s nothing to report. Our position hasn’t changed at all. So, I don’t know if anything has changed. But we’ve had very good conversations.”
Rivers also addressed the rumors of Simmons not caring or not giving 100% even if he's back with the team, stating that he believes that he'll be ready to play when they need him for the start of the season:
“We’ve been around this before, haven’t we?” the coach added. “We really have, in different ways. My guess is if and when he comes, I think he will be ready to play.”
In reality, having an unmotivated player who wants out could be worse than him not showing up at all. Also, the people of Philadelphia won't let this go any time soon and will be merciless to him during home games... and you can't blame them.