For the last few years, many have suggested the duo of Ben Simmons, and Joel Embiid simply cannot work for the Sixers. Simmons, who prefers driving to the basket rather than launching shots outside of the paint, hasn't found a way to expand his offensive skill set in Philly's half-court offense.
And because of that, it's forced Embiid to step out of his comfort zone and expand his shooting range when he could be dominant in the post. Simmons and Embiid's fit on the court is undoubtedly awkward, but the MVP-caliber center is well aware of the fact that they still somehow made it work.
During Sixers Media Day on Monday, an event which Simmons did not attend, Embiid spoke to reporters regarding his stance on the Ben Simmons saga. While he's disappointed in the situation as a whole, Embiid made it clear that he wants Simmons back because they've made the duo work and have won a lot of games together.
According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, the message from Embiid on Media Day didn't cause Simmons to budge. The three-time All-Star point guard is not only continuing his holdout into training camp and the preseason but he's ultimately decided that he's done trying to make the star duo between Embiid and himself work.
"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.
“It has run its course,” the source said of their pairing.
There’s a reason Simmons turned his teammates away when they wanted to visit him in Los Angeles this week and make a last-ditch plea for him to re-join the squad: In his mind, this chapter is closed and there’s simply no dignity in coming back for the sake of filling a familiar spot until the inevitable occurs. Even if he has four seasons and a combined $140 million left on his deal."
Embiid and his teammates made it clear they wanted Simmons back in Philly on Monday. Meanwhile, reports coming from Simmons' end leave everybody with a strong indication that he seriously won't reconsider his stance.
Back in June, Simmons and his representation requested a trade, according to Sixers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey. Now, in late September, Simmons remains committed to his holdout as he wants to re-locate for the 2021-2022 run.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.