“Our Teams Have Always Been Built Around His Needs” – Joel Embiid Responds to Latest Ben Simmons Report

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week, a report came out from Sam Amick at The Athletic, which more or less said that Ben Simmons was done with Joel Embiid and didn’t want to play with him anymore. It didn’t have anything to do with the off-court relationship, but was purely an Xs and Os type of things. A stylistic clash.

From the story, a snippet:

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.

As he sees it, sources say, the organization’s choice to build its basketball ecosystem around Embiid’s style simply isn’t conducive to the way he needs to play. So while Embiid insisted to reporters on Monday that he wants Simmons back, this much is clear: The feeling is not mutual.

Embiid was asked about this Thursday at Sixers training camp, and this is what he said, courtesy of Kyle Neubeck at Voice:

And more from Derek:

Embiid is, of course, correct here. Going back to Simmons’ first year, Brett Brown tailored his “A to B” motion offense around a non traditional point guard. They ran dribble-hand offs and avoided the pick and roll like the plague. It was built to be a pass-heavy and up-tempo offense, which catered to Ben as a non-shooting ball handler. Everybody remembers the Butler conflict of 2018 and 2019, where Jimmy wanted to run his stuff, and needed to initiate off the PNR or run those isolations. It just wasn’t congruent with what the Sixers were already doing, and so out went Jimmy and Ben stayed, then Elton Brand did the Al Horford and Josh Richardson moves.

Joel, in my mind, always made the bigger sacrifice in play style. He’d float out to the three point line, try to space the floor better, and make it work. All the while, fans were calling for him to “get his ass on the block.” So if it’s a matter of flex and adaptability, Embiid has the much better claim in that department.

EDIT –

Kyle transcribed the full thing:

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