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Is Joel Embiid to blame for the Ben Simmons situation?

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The Ben Simmons’ drama in Philadelphia has toned down a bit after both parties listened to what each other has to say. Simmons is still out due to personal reasons, and the Sixers will start paying him for missing games. The end is still nowhere in sight, but an agreement has been reached. For two former players, Joel Embiid needs to step up if the team wants to sort out the dilemma. 

Joel Embiid must embrace Simmons back

Former Sixers guard Eric Snow guested on Ethan Thomas’ podcast The Rematch. While the media and fans have vilified Simmons for his actions and unwillingness to participate in practices resulting in a standoff, Snow claimed Embiid also had a hand in it. 

“I firmly believe it will be hard for Ben Simmons to come back and make a full commitment if Joel Embiid doesn’t fully embrace him. I think that them collectively would have to make that call. It can’t be just Ben... If Joel doesn’t feel the same, it’s not going to work.”

Eric Snow, The Rematch

If the situation in Philadelphia has any chance of getting solved soon, it should start with Joel Embiid. He needs to lead by example. Talking to the media and addressing the crowd to support Simmons is one thing; doing it in real life is another thing. If he wants Simmons back, maybe not as a friend but as a teammate who can help bring a title to the city, Jojo needs to reach out and make Ben feel wanted again. 

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What’s next for Ben Simmons

As one of the leaders in Philly, Embiid’s earlier statement on the matter was borderline divisive. Last season, Embiid was also short on blaming his teammate for passing up an open dunk which changed the outcome of the series against the Atlanta Hawks. The 4-time All-Star revealed he doesn’t care about Ben anymore but changed tune after a meeting with the wantaway forward, as reported in former player turned sportswriter Ethan Thomas’ article published on Basketball News

Not a few players believe the Australian was set up so that he would be painted the villain by the media and that the Sixers would have justified their reasons for not paying him for skipping practices. 

Winning solves everything. By refusing to practice or get involved in defensive drills, Simmons becomes a willing participant to the tune being played by the Sixers. According to Snow, if he wants to change the narrative and change his future in the NBA, Ben needs to show maturity:

  • Acknowledge shortcomings.
  • Vow to play hard.
  • Accept the tough love.
  • Help his team win. 

No one can deny Simmons’ elite skills on the court, but he should address his weaknesses, especially his free-throw shooting. Upgrading skills is part of being a professional, and if the 25-year-old shows improved shooting on the charity stripe or 3-point area when he returns, the fans will appreciate his hard work more. Winning solves everything, and if Ben Simmons can help the Sixers win games, it will be the best clap back to his critics. 

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