On Friday, the Philadelphia 76ers hosted the biggest game of the season. Besides being a division rival, the Brooklyn Nets are also the new home of Ben Simmons, who recently left the Sixers, and his former co-star Joel Embiid, in the dust.
Despite staying on the sidelines, Ben was the target of boos the whole night as Philly fans made sure to show how they felt about the young star.
Joel Embiid, meanwhile, is just glad the game, and the saga, is finally over.
“Yeah,” said Embiid. “I mean, even before the game, I was already tired of all that drama and all that stuff. I didn’t think it was warranted. I just wanted to really get it over with. I wasn’t into it at all. I just want to play basketball and try to win the basketball game we were playing in.”
“Honestly, I wasn’t focused on the outside noise and whatever people were talking about or really the fans going back and forth,” he added. “I’m glad we passed it.”
It is no secret that Embiid had grown increasingly frustrated with the whole situation. As Simmons and team President Daryl Morey waged war behind the scenes, Embiid was doing his best to keep his team in the playoff hunt.
After a while of trying to mend the situation, Embiid gave up completely.
“I did a lot of chasing around trying to get him back and try to make him feel comfortable again. It was tough. I didn’t care anymore... I could have said a lot of stuff but I still did what I had to do that was good as a teammate.”
With the "big game" now in the past, the 76ers can focus on the task at hand: winning a championship. With James Harden and Joel Embiid, they have a core that is capable of beating any team in the league.
Still, there is much work to be done and their loss against the Nets Friday was proof of that. At least now, the MVP frontrunner doesn't have to worry about any more distractions.