Joel Embiid denied a "rift" with Ben Simmons, and stated Wednesday in a series tweets that he still loves playing with the embattled star from Philadelphia.
"Stop using people's names to promote their agendas," Embiid tweeted. I love and hate drama. Ben is my favorite player. Stats don't lie. He is an incredible player, and it was impossible for us to get the job done. It's all on me. We know we are good enough to win, so I hope everyone is back.
Embiid was responding in a tweet to a USA Today report claiming that Simmons' "rift" had been "escalating" and that Simmons preferred Embiid.
Embiid appeared to also challenge Sixers fans over their treatment Simmons in tweets. He compared it to his own growth in the NBA.
Although I don't remember, 2 years ago I was booed by Philly people who wanted me to be traded. They even shunted me. They didn't, but I put in the effort that offseason because I knew I wasn’t living up to my potential. Philly fans, y’all also gotta improve Joel "Troel” Embiid (@JoelEmbiid September 1, 2021
To be clear, I love criticism. I love it when people tell me I can't do something. This makes me want to prove people wrong, but not everyone is like that. Joel "Troel" Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) September 1, 2021
Sources have previously confirmed to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, that Simmons is interested in a trade from Philadelphia. Additionally, Rich Paul, Klutch Sports CEO, and Simmons' agent met earlier this summer with Sixers management to discuss the future of the All-Star.
To continue his development of basketball skills, Simmons did not participate in the Olympics with Australia.
The NBA playoffs saw the 24-year-old struggle at the free throw line. He went from being a 60% foul-shooter during the regular season to only 34.2% in playoffs. In the final quarter of Games 4-7 against the Atlanta Hawks, Simmons failed to attempt a field goal. Philadelphia was eliminated in seven. Simmons finished the series with 19 points.
Simmons still has his contract for four years and $147 Million.