The Ben Simmons-Philadelphia 76ers saga has been probably the most talked about and controversial topic of the season, and the end doesn't seem near. No realistic trade rumors are going around the league, Morey is ready to play the waiting game, and Simmons is nowhere to be seen or heard. But still, reports are circulating that the main reason for Simmons's fallout and unwillingness to play is Embiid's criticism after losing to the Hawks.
Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have been brothers and the stars for the Sixers for years, fighting together and building a great bond. But it seems that went down the drain in one series. According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, Simmons was hurt by the fact Embiid called him out so vividly in public, when he stayed quiet after losing to the Raptors in 2019:
"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. "
Ramona Shelburn, ESPN
Obviously, this all dates to last year's Eastern Conference Semi-Finals between the Sixers and Hawks. Atlanta stunned Philly and took Game 7 in their house, advancing to the Conference Finals and leaving the Sixers in shambles. Doc Rivers would refuse to call Ben a championship point guard, and Embiid pointed out the play in which Simmons passed up a dunk as the game's turning point.
Obviously, all the public heat took a toll on Simmons, who is determined never to wear a Sixers jersey again no matter the cost. Rivers and Emiid tried to make amends with their point guard and bring him back, but that process has been chaotic with no result. Simmons is still nowhere near playing and waiting for a trade, while Embiid is playing MVP basketball and leading Philly to the top of the East.
It seems Simmons is most hurt about the fact he showed support for Embiid when the tables were turned. In the dramatic seven-game series that ended with that crazy shot by Kawhi Leonard, Embiid played underwhelmingly, averaging 17.6 ppg and 8.7 rpg in seven games. Numbers that were way beyond his usual production.
In the end, Jimmy Butler, who led the Sixers, took the heat and got sent out of town while Embiid and Simmons remained untouched. Ben didn't get that same treatment after stinking it up against the Hawks, and that seems like a huge reason for this situation.
Well, although you can see Ben's point, he has taken this too far, and his career could slowly go by if he doesn't snap out of it soon. Morey is in no rush and plotting what will be beneficial for the Sixers. Simmons could very well get the short end of the stick in this scenario.