When the Sixers dropped Game 7 against the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the playoffs last season, Joel Embiid made comments during his postgame press conference that led many to believe he was calling out Ben Simmons.
Not too long after Sixers head coach Doc Rivers caused an uproar as his comments made it seem as if he was questioning Simmons' ability to be a point guard on a championship-winning team, Embiid pointed at his teammate's unwillingness to take advantage of a wide-open dunk as the turning point of the game.
"I'll be honest, I thought the turning point was when. . . I don't know how to say it," Embiid said back in June. "I thought the turning point was when we had an open shot, made one free throw, and missed the other, then they came down and scored."
When Embiid explained the game's "turning point," everybody knew he was directing his comments towards Ben Simmons, who passed up on a wide-open dunk by tossing the ball to a covered Matisse Thybulle, which led to a foul.
While Embiid didn't intend for the comments to paint Simmons in a negative light, many saw it as Embiid calling Simmons out. When asked about whether he regrets making that comment or not months later, the Sixers' center makes it clear that while he enjoys playing alongside Simmons and hopes he returns for next season, Embiid made it apparent, he wouldn't have done anything differently.
"It was the turning point of the game," he claimed on Monday. "If there's anybody that should be mad, it should be me calling Matisse out for missing a freaking free throw, but we all talk about it we all joke about it. We know we got to be better, so no, I don't have any regrets because I didn't call out anybody. I just stated the facts. I'm honest, and I can't lie, that's just me. I don't have any regrets because I don't feel like I put anybody in a situation where they had to feel bad."
Whether Simmons is unhappy with Embiid's comment or not is unclear. As he's avoided speaking on his situation with the Sixers publicly throughout the offseason, it's challenging to figure out what Simmons is ultimately upset about. If there was a chance he felt slighted by Embiid, though, the Sixers center doesn't have any regrets considering he was just speaking his mind and explaining the turning point of an all-around disappointing game by the entire team as a whole.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.