Philadelphia 76ers superstar Joel Embiid called the situation with his disgruntled co-star Ben Simmons “disappointing” and “almost disrespectful” to the rest of the team.
The comments followed a report by The Athletic about Simmons, who feels his association with Embiid has “run its course.” Simmons has yet to show up for training camp and intends to hold out until he is traded.
“The situation is disappointing, almost disrespectful to all the guys who are here fighting for their lives,” Embiid told reporters at training camp Thursday.
Embiid also rejected Simmons’s belief that the Sixers chose to build around him in a way that doesn’t fit Simmons’s style of play, arguing that the team has always tried to adapt to him.
“I feel like our teams have been built, whether it’s the need to shoot or stretch five and all that, I feel like [Simmons] always had it here. And we still have it, “Embiid said.” Our teams have always been built around your needs. “
Embiid referenced the Sixers’ offseason in 2019, when they signed Al Horford to a big deal and let Jimmy Butler go to the Miami Heat, as another example of how Philadelphia made moves with Simmons in mind.
“It was a little surprising to see,” Embiid said of the report. “We’ll say it, even going back to the reason we hired Al. We got rid of Jimmy, which I still think was a mistake, just to make sure [Simmons] he needed the ball in his hands. That is the decision they made. Like I said, it’s amazing. “
While Embiid reiterated his belief that the Sixers are better with Simmons, he said it’s time to focus on the team in question.
“We are a better team with him, there is no question about it. We still hope that he changes his mind, but we have to worry about what we have here.”
Simmons has four years and $ 147 million remaining on his maximum contract, including $ 33 million for 2021-22. If the Sixers decide to call him off, Simmons could lose $ 227,000 for every exhibition and regular-season game he misses, through the twentieth game of the season. For games 21-82, that figure increases to $ 300,000.
ESPN’s Bobby Marks contributed to this report.