Sixers’ Doc Rivers reacts to report saying Ben Simmons is done with Joel Embiid
The Philadelphia 76ers kicked off training camp Tuesday, and Ben Simmons remains to be nowhere in sight, something Doc Rivers and Joel Embiid are painfully aware of. Even though the former number one pick isn’t present with the Sixers, new reports regarding his trade request continue to pour out.
Early Tuesday morning, Sam Amick released an article for The Athletic stating the Simmons is done playing with Joel Embiid. This decision from Simmons has nothing to do personally with Embiid, but he feels playing around his style isn’t helpful for his game.
One person who always believed the two could co-exist is Doc Rivers. When he first arrived in Philly, he felt the narrative regarding the All-Star teammates needed to be changed to “they haven’t won yet,” not that “they can’t win together.” Sixers fans had hoped that would happen, but now it seems that ship has sailed.
Rivers was asked his thoughts on the report following the opening day of training camp, and his stance remains the same. The future Hall of Fame coach still believes Embiid and Simmons can be successful alongside one another.
This is not the first time that guys don’t think they could play together. This is basketball, so I don’t think this is an earth-shattering thing.
Since Simmons and Embiid first took the floor together, many have questioned the fit from a basketball sense. Embiid is his most dominant when punishing defenders around the rim, and Simmons needs an open lane to attack the basket due to his unwillingness to shoot from the outside.
Despite Simmons thinking Embiid’s style isn’t best for his game, the numbers don’t lie. The two have seen great success alongside one another across a span of multiple seasons. They are fresh off leading the Sixers to the top seed in the Eastern Conference and have been a mainstay at the top of the standings in three of the last four seasons. Embiid and Simmons have also seen personal success, getting selected to multiple All-Star teams over the years.
Simmons might feel that playing alongside Embiid isn’t what’s best for him, but their record together says otherwise. Great talents always find a way to make it work if they are willing. Embiid has willingly changed his style on the court for the good of the Sixers, but it appears Ben Simmons had no plans of doing the same.