In a candid and pointed discussion on his podcast, Bill Simmons, the renowned sports analyst and founder of The Ringer, revealed that he has “given up” on Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid. This revelation came during Simmons’ latest episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast, sparking a wave of debate and speculation among NBA fans and analysts alike.

Simmons' disillusionment with Embiid seemed to crystallize following the latter's appearance on NBA Countdown. During the show, Embiid engaged in playful banter with Paul George, seemingly trying to entice the Clippers star to join the 76ers.

However, Simmons interpreted this lighthearted moment as indicative of a deeper issue: Embiid's lack of awareness about his underwhelming playoff performances and the broader implications for his career and legacy.

At the 49:33 mark of the podcast, Simmons did not mince words about his current stance on Embiid.

“I just feel like I’ve given up,” he stated, expressing a sentiment that has likely crossed the minds of many 76ers fans over the years. Ryen Russillo, co-hosting the episode, questioned Simmons’ seemingly definitive stance, to which Simmons responded, “I think I have, I think I’ve given up. He could win me back but…”

Simmons elaborated on his frustrations, pointing out Embiid's consistent inability to deliver in critical playoff moments.

“You haven’t come through in one playoff series in your entire career and I don’t even think you realize that,” Simmons remarked, highlighting the disconnect he perceives between Embiid’s self-perception and his actual performance.

The conversation then turned to whether Embiid and former teammate Ben Simmons were, in a sense, perfect foils for each other, given their respective struggles with realizing their full potential.

“Were he and Ben Simmons actually perfect teammates for lack of realization?” Russillo asked, prompting Simmons to consider the broader dynamics at play. “At some point, it might be you, you know how many excuses can we have,” Simmons said, suggesting that Embiid's continued lack of postseason success may point to deeper, intrinsic issues.

One of the key points Simmons raised was Embiid's apparent tendency to avoid facing elite competition head-on. He referenced an incident where Embiid scored a spectacular 70 points against a young Victor Wembanyama but then missed a subsequent game against Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets. For Simmons, this pattern of behavior exemplified a troubling lack of competitive spirit.

“I’m just like does this guy get it, I don’t know,” Simmons mused.

Another major criticism Simmons leveled at Embiid was his seeming lack of accountability for the 76ers' repeated postseason failures. Despite being a dominant regular season force and securing an MVP award, Embiid has yet to lead his team to a deep playoff run, often faltering in crucial moments.

Simmons' frustration is compounded by Embiid's public comments and demeanor, which he perceives as indicative of a player who does not fully grasp the gravity of his shortcomings.

What might Joel Embiid have done to upset Bill Simmons?

Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) signals 50 after hitting a three point basket to put him over 50 points for the game as Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) walks away during the second half of game seven
© Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Embiid's recent comments about the Boston Celtics further inflamed Simmons' ire. During an interview, Embiid expressed his disdain for Boston and attributed the Celtics' success this season to injuries plaguing other Eastern Conference teams.

Such remarks did not sit well with Simmons, a noted Boston sports enthusiast, and further fueled his perception of Embiid as a player lacking in self-awareness and sportsmanship.

The reaction to Simmons’ comments has been mixed. Some fans and analysts agree with Simmons, citing Embiid's playoff struggles and questioning his leadership and accountability.

Others defend Embiid, arguing that his individual performances have often been stellar and that he has been let down by injuries, coaching decisions, and a lack of consistent support from his teammates.

As the 76ers look towards the future, the scrutiny on Embiid will only intensify. His ability to silence critics like Simmons will depend not only on his performance in the regular season but, more crucially, in the playoffs.

The upcoming season will be pivotal for Embiid as he seeks to rewrite the narrative of his career and prove that he can lead the 76ers to the NBA Finals.

For now, though, the ball is in Embiid's court, and he faces the challenge of winning back not just Simmons but the many fans and analysts who have begun to doubt his ability to deliver when it matters most. Whether he can rise to the occasion remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: the spotlight on Joel Embiid has never been brighter.