The fallout has been evident as Ben Simmons has reportedly cut off any communication from the Philadelphia Sixers. The Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers are eyeing the star.
The relationship between Simmons and the Sixers is now fractured beyond repair. Per Bleacher Report’s Jason Dumas, the point guard has not returned any of Joel Embiid’s phone calls and has told the organization that all communication will be through his agent, Rich Paul.
In their Game 7 loss against the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA Playoffs, Simmons infamously made a mistake as he had a crucial wide-open layup but instead passed the ball to Matisse Thybulle. Simmons had zero shot attempts in the fourth quarter in that game.
Simmons left the floor at Wells Fargo Center to some chants of “Trade Ben Simmons” from Sixers fans during their shocking exit. That must have been the last straw that clearly angered Simmons.
During the postgame interview, Embiid told the media how frustrated he was about the loss. He brought up the specific blunder of Simmons.
“I’ll be honest. I thought the turning point was when we–I don’t know how to say it. But I thought the turning point was just, we had an open shot and we made one free throw and we missed the other and then they came down and scored and we didn’t get a good possession on the other end and Trae came back and he made a 3 and then, from there down four. And then I got–it’s on me. I turned the ball over, tried to make something happen from the perimeter. But I thought that was the turning point.”
The Simmons-Embiid beef is obvious as the Sixers center made subtle jabs about Ben Simmons’ lack of trying to shoot three-pointers as they were on a three-game losing streak last year.
“We just got to look at ourselves and see what we can do better individually. We gotta help each other, even if that means being outside of your comfort zone as far as to help the team win. Meaning that if you gotta space and shoot it, you gotta do it. We need everybody to buy into that. We’ll be fine. We’re gonna be fine. We’re still finding our groove. We haven’t been totally healthy, the whole starting lineup. Like I said, we’ll be fine.”
And we wonder why Ben Simmons does not respond to Joel Embiid’s messages and phone calls?