Sixers star Joel Embiid has a response to Ben Simmons over criticism

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Another day, another chapter in the Ben Simmons saga for the Philadelphia 76ers. Simmons is currently in a holdout as he awaits for his trade request to be fulfilled and it took another step recently when Simmons said his partnership with Joel Embiid has run its course.

This, of course, comes after the Sixers just finished as the No. 1 seed in the East for the first time in 20 years. It is not like Simmons and Embiid have not had success together. It is just a matter of getting over the hump in the playoffs. A hump mostly caused by Simmons’ inability to shoot the ball or even knock down free throws.

The Sixers are in the middle of training camp to begin preparation for the 2021-22 season and Embiid had quite the response to Simmons when he was asked about it.

“I saw it,” Embiid started. “I don’t know if it came from him or whatever…like I said, it is disappointing, but I feel like over the years, the way our team has been built around him, look at last year. The whole starting lineup shot, I was the worst 3-point shooter in the starting lineup. We’ve always had shooters.”

The Sixers did make a lot of acquisitions in the 2020 offseason tailored more towards Simmons’ skillset. They added legitimate 3-point shooting in the form of Seth Curry and Danny Green and Simmons still came up short in the postseason.

“I feel like I can play with really anybody and I can make anybody better on the court,” Embiid continued. “I don’t necessarily need shooters, but I feel like over the years, when you look at when we signed Al (Horford), we needed a stretch-5. That was for him and most of my career, I’ve had to step out to the 3-point line and I don’t mind. I like to be a basketball player. I like to do everything out on the basketball court.”

The Sixers have continued to focus on Simmons’ skills so it is confusing for Embiid to see why Simmons is upset.

“I feel like he’s always had it here,” the big fella continued. “He’s still got it. You got Seth, one of the best 3-point shooters ever in Danny Green, Tobias is a 40% 3-point shooter, Furkan (Korkmaz) off the bench, at times Shake (Milton), I think he can be a better shooter, but he can get hot. I feel like our teams have always been built around his skills so it was kind of surprising to see.”

Horford was signed to bring in more shooting at the frontcourt positions to help space the floor for Simmons and they let Jimmy Butler walk in the process. Since then, Butler led the Miami Heat to an NBA finals appearance and Horford is no longer with the team. For Embiid, he saw that as an effort to make Simmons happy.

“The reason we signed Al and we got rid of Jimmy, which I still think is a mistake, was to make sure that he has the ball in his hands,” Embiid continued. “It is surprising, but I’m focused on the guys that are here. The situation is weird, disappointing, borderline kind of disrespectful.”

At the same time, Embiid did acknowledge that the Sixers need Simmons at the moment. They are better with him than without him.

“Obviously, we are a better team with him,” Embiid stated. “It is surprising, but I’m focused on the guys that are here. We just got to get better and try to get on the same agenda. We know what we got to do and every single day, we just gotta attack it and try to get better every single day, but we are a better team with him. There’s no question about it.”

The saga will continue until Simmons either shows up or he is finally traded. Buckle up, folks. This will only get messier.

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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