By all accounts, Ben Simmons is done playing for the Philadelphia 76ers. The onetime No. 1 overall pick is not expected to show up for training camp this week and has reportedly indicated he wants out of Philly.
The latest report, from The Athletic’s Sam Amick, says that one of the reasons Simmons wants to be traded is because he doesn’t feel like he fits well playing alongside big man Joel Embiid. There’s apparently “nothing personal” regarding Simmons’ feelings toward Embiid, but the southpaw playmaker thinks their playing styles don’t mesh.
Speaking with reporters today, 76ers head coach Doc Rivers apparently tried to downplay the significance of the Amick report.
“This isn’t the first time that guys didn’t think they could play together,” Rivers said, via Derek Bodner of The Athletic. “This is basketball. I don’t think this is any Earth shattering thing.”
Doc Rivers on the @sam_amick report: "This isn't the first time that guys didn't think they could play together. This is basketball. I don't think this is any Earth shattering thing." https://t.co/N5zLNL78lh
— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) September 28, 2021
Of course, Doc is correct in saying that a star player thinking he can’t coexist with another star on his own team is nothing new in basketball. That doesn’t mean that Simmons is going to change his mind though.
For what it’s worth, Embiid is saying (at least publicly) that he would be willing to continue playing with Simmons and hopes the situation can be saved.
“He knows we can win together. I hope he changes his mind. I love playing with him. They have been building around us,” Embiid said recently. “We know it’s working. It’s all about taking the next step.”