Ben Simmons is apparently done playing with Joel Embiid. While it’s nothing personal (allegedly), the Sixers star is all but gone from Philadelphia.
The Sixers’ attempt at reaching out to Ben Simmons through their media day has been promptly brushed aside by Simmons camp, who maintains that he has no interest in returning to the Sixers. One of the primary reasons allegedly being his lack of fit with Philadelphia’s star.
While nothing personal, Ben Simmons has either decided for himself or has been told that Joel Embiid is only standing in his way and that without him, Simmons would be able to thrive. Amick’s article was very telling as to the mind of Simmons camp and how they truly see the Sixers star as a roadblock:
People who have intimate knowledge of how he sees this situation continue to insist that he’s done playing with Embiid. There’s nothing personal about this choice, it seems, but the 25-year-old Simmons has clearly decided that his career is better off without Embiid blocking the runways in the paint that he so badly needs to succeed.
It may be nothing personal for Simmons, but it certainly is for Sixers fans. At every possible opportunity, Ben Simmons has proven that he is unwilling to put in the effort to become great in Philadelphia. Yes, he is great at a few aspects of the game but being a great basketball player is about more than just perfecting what you’re already good at. It’s also about improving in the areas in which you’re weak.
One needn’t significantly grow in those areas of weakness either, just enough of an attempt to make it respectable. James Harden has become a serviceable defender, Kevin Durant has added strength, Anthony Davis added a three-point shot, and Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic have both improved their conditioning.
Instead of that, Ben Simmons has chosen another path, leaving. Simmons blaming Joel Embiid for not reaching his potential would be laughable if it weren’t so infuriating.
Over his time in Philadelphia, Simmons has actively refused to improve his areas of weakness. Deciding he was good enough and that he doesn’t have to change, the team should. Earlier rumors suggested that Ben Simmons wants to go to a team where he can be the star, and this falls right in line with that report. For where else could Simmons have that type of freedom, but a city focused catering to his desires.
The Philadelphia 76ers fans, who are often thrown under the bus, have supported Simmons for years. To the point that they were mocked by the national media for celebrating him hitting a three-pointer. The fans have invested in Simmons; he just never reciprocated.
Ben Simmons may be done with Joel Embiid, with Philadelphia, but Sixers fans have been done with him since Game 7.