Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid is over the ongoing Ben Simmons drama. On Tuesday, Simmons was kicked out of practice by Doc Rivers and subsequently suspended for the team’s season opener for conduct detrimental to the team. Afterward, Embiid was asked about the situation and he made it clear it’s not something he’s interested in thinking about any longer.
“At this point I don’t care about that man honestly,” Embiid said of Simmons. “He does whatever he wants. That’s not my job. … I’m only focused on trying to make the team better, win some games, play hard every night, and try to lead the guys that we have here, and I’m sure they feel the same way because our chemistry has been excellent despite everything that’s been happening for the last few months. So like I said, I don’t really care.”
You can hear the big man’s comments below, via NBC Philadelphia:
Embiid also made it clear he’s not interested in being a babysitter.
“At the end of the day, our job is not to babysit somebody,” Embiid added. “We get paid to produce on the court, play hard, win some games, that’s all we get paid for. We don’t get paid to come out here and try to babysit somebody. That’s not our job and I’m sure my teammates feel that way.”
Embiid was initially happy that Simmons had rejoined the team after holding out for the entirety of training camp and the start of preseason play. “That is good for the organization,” Embiid said of Simmons’ return last week. “That’s something that everybody wanted. I’ve always said that I believe that he gives us the best chance to win. We are a better team, with him than without, that’s for sure. I’m happy that things have resolved and we can move on and try to try to be a better team.”
You can’t blame Embiid for trying to be optimistic, but he misspoke a bit there as the situation is far from resolved. Simmons’ return to Philadelphia wasn’t his preferred choice and was also motivated by money (or losing it). He still isn’t interested in being a member of the organization moving forward. Apparently he thinks that acting out and serving as a major distraction will force the Sixers into trading him, even though they’ve maintained they won’t make a move unless it is beneficial for the team in the present.
Once the season starts — and teams begin to underperform — perhaps new potential trade opportunities for Philadelphia will present themselves. However, in the meantime, the tension and awkwardness looking over the Sixers will likely remain.