The Philadelphia 76ers’ decision to trade Ben Simmons to the Brooklyn Nets at the deadline ended the longest-running saga in the NBA.
While the deal hasn’t exactly worked out great for the Nets thus far, Philly seems to be doing quite well.
Because he is in something of a comfortable position right now, Joel Embiid is speaking pretty freely these days about his relationship with Simmons.
Specifically, what happened in the past and what the future may hold.
“I don’t have any hate toward him,” Embiid told Chris Mannix of SI. “I wouldn’t mind being friends. That’s just me. I don’t care. Honestly. I respect the decision he made. I think it’s unfortunate what happened, but to me it’s whatever.”
Based on what has transpired in the past, it’s safe to assume that friendship is likely out of the question for this duo at the moment. Simmons literally opted to forego millions upon millions of dollars to get away from Embiid. That’s how poisoned the relationship was.
While he allegedly wants to make amends, Embiid was quick to double down on his criticism of Simmons for his now-infamous passed up shot against the Atlanta Hawks in the playoffs last year.
“I’m always going to challenge my teammates,” he said.
That said, Embiid believes his quote was largely taken out of context.
“I didn’t call out anybody,” said Embiid. “This is what [the media] does. I listed a bunch of stuff that happened. And that one little piece of it was everywhere. We couldn’t get anything going. It’s unfortunate, but if, as a player, if you want to read into that, I can’t help you.”
It will be interesting to see where Embiid’s relationship with his new teammate, James Harden, goes.
Johnny Football is back. https://t.co/Qn1MhhvMsw
— Game 7 (@game7__) March 31, 2022
That said, if the Sixers win a title — obviously all that will be moot.
Will Embiid and Harden ultimately be able to do what Embiid and Simmons could not? Time will tell.