Simmons' teammate doubles down in new trade twist

3 weeks ago 13
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Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid denied reports of a rift with teammate Ben Simmons amid claims the Australian star wants out of Philadelphia.

Just a day after it was revealed that Simmons officially requested a trade in a "secret" team meeting with the Sixers, a report in the USA Today claimed an "escalating" rift with Embiid as one of the reasons Simmons was looking for a trade.

Embiid, who just signed a monster max deal with Philadelphia in recent weeks, denied there was a split.

"Stop using my name to push people's agendas," Embiid wrote.

"I love and hate drama. I love playing with Ben. Stats don't lie. He's an amazing player and we all didn't get the job done. It's on me personally. I hope everyone is back cuz we know we're good enough to win.

"From my own experience, y'all have no idea how much this media makes up stuff for followers and shame on you for believing them."

Ben Simmons #25 and Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers. (Getty)

It's clear Simmons hasn't forgotten about comments made by Philly head coach Doc Rivers and Embiid following Simmons' lacklustre performance in the 76ers' loss to Atlanta in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.

Rivers said he couldn't answer a question about whether the 25-year-old could be the point guard on a championship team. Embiid also criticised Simmons for passing the ball to Matisse Thybulle under the rim rather than shoot over a much smaller Trae Young at the end of the Game 7 loss.

Embiid compared Simmons' current situation in 2019-2020, when he shushed fans for booing him during a poor run of form.

"I haven't forgotten but 2 years ago, I got booed, people in Philly wanted me to be traded," Embiid said.

"I even shushed them. Only the real ones didn't but I just put the work in that offseason to be better cuz I knew I wasn't playing up to my potential. Philly fans, y'all also gotta be better."

He later tweeted: "For clarity, I love the criticism, I love when I'm told I can't do something. It makes me work harder to prove everyone wrong" before a telling admission seemingly referring to Simmons.

"But not everyone is built like that," he added.

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