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Ben Simmons Reportedly Blames Joel Embiid For Criticizing His Playoff Performance Last Season As He Didn't Blame Embiid For Their 2019 Loss To The Toronto Raptors

Ben Simmons Reportedly Blames Joel Embiid For Criticizing His Playoff Performance Last Season As He Didn't Blame Embiid For Their 2019 Loss To The Toronto Raptors

Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers simply do not see eye-to-eye with one another at this point and the situation has not improved since the 2021 playoffs came to end abruptly for the franchise. Simmons was angered by comments made by his coach Doc Rivers and co-star Joel Embiid in the aftermath of the series loss to the Atlanta Hawks and has refused to play for the Sixers since then. 

Talks have been arranged between Simmons' camp and the Sixers multiple times but they have failed to arrive at a solution. Philly is reportedly holding out for a sizeable haul in return for their disgruntled All-Star and Ben has no wish to play for the franchise ever again. Ramona Shelburne of ESPN has provided further detailed insight into how Ben Simmons feels about the entire situation. 

"According to sources close to Simmons, he's upset that Embiid seemed to blame him for last season's playoff loss when Simmons did not blame Embiid for Embiid's poor showing in the playoffs against the Toronto Raptors in 2019. He's frustrated that Rivers didn't come to see him while he was training in Los Angeles last summer."

"Simmons doesn't dispute that he didn't reply when Rivers texted and called him several times over the summer asking to see him. But in hindsight, Simmons feels Rivers and the Sixers could've done more, like show up at a well-known gym in the San Fernando Valley where he was training.

"He's also sceptical, sources close to him say, of Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey's willingness to trade him because of his previous pursuit of Harden -- who can become a free agent this summer. Simmons would be the best player the Sixers would send in any theoretical trade. And he's upset that the organization is fining him so heavily after he raised mental health as an issue upon his return."

The series that is referenced is the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2019, in which the Sixers lost heartbreakingly to the Toronto Raptors in Game 7 after the famous Kawhi Leonard buzzer-beater. Embiid averaged just 17 points per game during that series, but for Simmons to criticize him for it is a bit rich, as Ben himself just managed 11.6 points per game. 

It's made even worse by a comparison of their stats during last season's series against the Atlanta Hawks. Joel Embiid put up a whopping 30 points per game, while Simmons had just 9.9. The comments from the organization seem to have hurt Ben Simmons deeply regardless of the stats, and it looks like the stalemate will continue to drag on despite the franchise fining Simmons heavily for his continued absences.