- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
The Philadelphia 76ers began their preparation for the 2021-22 season by convening for media day on Monday and there were a lot of questions about a certain star that they had to face and answer.
Ben Simmons made good on his promise of not showing up to media day which would then lead into training camp on Tuesday. The Simmons-Sixers trade saga has carried all throughout the summer and now into the team’s prep for the upcoming season and Philadelphia has a lot to handle on their plate right now.
President Daryl Morey and coach Doc Rivers expressed hope that they can bring him back and try to reconcile the relationship. They even compared their situation with Simmons to that of Aaron Rodgers with the Green Bay Packers in the NFL.
After hearing from Morey and Rivers, now it’s time to hear from the players from media day on Monday:
Embiid on Simmons as a whole: "Of course we want him back. He’s a big piece of what we've been building the past few years. Obviously, there's a lot of stuff that have happened in between and I know a little bit about all of that, but that's not really for me to deal. The way I look at it is that we all got to be better. After we lost, I kind of try to figure out ways I can be better so we can win something. I think you just got to have some self-awareness. I could have done much better than I did. I turned the ball over a few times, I missed a few shots, Tobias (Harris) could have been better. All my teammates could have been better. If that's what it takes to win and I still believe that we got a chance to win with him. I know he’s going through a lot and I guess, we just gonna let him be himself." On his comments after Game 7 pointing to Simmons passing up the dunk as the "turning point" in the loss: "I don't think I said anything. I was asked a question, what was the turning point of the game and I really believe that it was the turning point of the game. If anybody needs to actually be mad is me freakin calling Matisse (Thybulle) out for missing a freaking free throw. We all talked about it, we all joked about it. We know we got to be better so, nah I don't have any regrets because I didn't call out anybody. I just stated the facts. I'm honest, I can't lie, and that's just me. I don't have any regrets because I don't feel like I put anybody in a situation where they had to feel bad. At the end of the day just like I just said, we got to have self-awareness and we got to figure out ways to get better as players and as a team."
On the Simmons situation being disappointing: "It’s disappointing. I signed back here as [the] expectation of a championship team. Last season was disappointing as well, losing in the second round, but I think that he’s a huge part to our team, right? Our point guard. I was telling this to somebody the other day like if you look around the NBA and just like any team, championship team, or bottom of the pack team, your starting point guard goes out the lineup, that team is kind of in a weird spot. I think that the PG position is one of the most important positions in the NBA and so him not going to be here, it is disappointing, but like I've said to the guys on the team, to all of us like, he‘s still part of our team. Ben’s still part of our team. He’s got 15 guys in a locker room, seven or eight of them that played with him last year, that’s still our brother, still our brother as well. So we hope the situation can get resolved. If it doesn't, we move on, we get this thing going. Because at the end of the day, the 29 other teams that play against us, do not care. They’re coming to kick our butt and we need to be ready so that's the reality of it really." On reaching out to Simmons: "I reached out to Ben. I've spoken to him, we've talked. To be honest, I haven't been in that situation, where he's in…Yeah, I've been in trade rumors and whatnot, but that's not necessarily this situation, right? But I’ve done what you say quote-unquote of what you would say my part of reaching out and communicating. The situation is what it is at this point."
His thoughts on the situation: "It’s the business of basketball. Me personally, I just mind my business, do what I need to do, focus on myself. As far as an offseason and coming here, trying to better the team we got. I mean, Ben knows how I feel about him. I love playing with him and all that, but like I said I just mind my business and do what I need to do."
On the Simmons saga: "We’ve reached, out all of us have talked to him bits and pieces here and there, I haven't spoken to him recently, but we're taking it a day at a time, day by day, and figure out what we need to do. Just as if we had someone out or injured or hurt or just missing for personal reasons. Now the slow part is team but, whoever shows up that day for shootaround or shows the day for the game is who we're gonna play with."
On his relationship with Simmons: "I will start from this part, personally, I like Ben a lot. I love Ben. I love playing with him on the court, but I know the situation right now and everything going on right now is a business. Anything can happen, but personally, I would like to play with him. He's still part of us. He's still a Sixer so I hope everything will be well for him and for us too. I hope he's gonna be happy. We're gonna be happy in the end. I just want to wish him healthy and a good life whether it's here or somewhere else, but I will be on his back."
On the Simmons saga affecting the team: "We've talked about it a little bit in the locker room amongst teammates. The message has kind of been the same. We want Ben back. We still think of him as a part of this team, but at the same time, in order for us to get to where we gotta get to do, the people in the locker room are the most important. We're just going to try and come together and be ready to play." On Simmons possibly becoming a distraction: "Not really. I guess if you let it. I keep saying it, but the guys in the locker room, we have our head on straight and we recognize that it's gonna be a whirlwind until whatever happens happens. For us, we're going to try and get off to the best start possible, come in here and work hard, and hopefully, it leads to Ws."
On walking into this situation with Simmons: "At the end of the day, Ben is still a part of this team. I'm not really sure the situation. I just got here so my opinion probably doesn't really matter. I'm just here to help out the best way I can do whatever I can to help this locker room."
On Simmons possibly being a distraction: "As much as distractions you guys (the media) want it to be. We don't choose to talk about it unless we're asked about it, kind of thing. That’s all I really have." On Simmons being thrown under the bus and his comments on JJ Redick's podcast: "I mean I can't speak on how he feels, and I can't speak on what everyone else has said or spoken to him about. Personally, I don't feel like that me and him, there wasn't a conversation need to be had. When you lose a game, you never need to go and assert blame on people. I don't think that's a productive way of being a teammate or an organization. So that wasn't a conversation that was had by me and him. I don't think it was a necessary one."
On his friendship with Simmons: "Me and Ben have been friends since probably, I don't know, summer right before the bubble is when I was working out getting ready for the draft. Me being a part of Klutch, we kind of connected from there, and then we just been really good friends. Every time I talk to him, we both like dogs. We have the same type of dog. We’re talking about our particular dogs and we laugh at each other and he calls and checks on me, I check on him and I love him like a brother. I always, you know, we love each other and it's a great relationship."