Joel Embiid on Simmons’ Return: «It Doesn’t Have to Be Weird»

Finally, Ben Simmons, his agent and the Philadelphia 76ers have reached an agreement for the return of the player. If at first the details of this return were obtuse and possibly transitory, the latest news reveals that the Australian will enter the team dynamics as if nothing had happened. Obviously, the movement surprises locals and strangers, who wonder how it is possible to agree on a player with whom little less than an open verbal war has been fought. Well, despite the numerous crossovers of statements, Joel Embiid has it more or less clear. «There will be some adjustments, but it doesn’t have to be weird,» he declared after yesterday’s win against the Nets.

The truth is that most of the statements made by various members of the SIxers, whether they were players, coaches or managers, have tried to leave the door open to Simmons. Still, it is rare to imagine how a relationship that seemed totally fractured just 24 hours ago will be resumed. Embiid himself admits that “I haven’t spoken to him since the end of the season. Although I have tried, I have not had the success that other colleagues have. The pivot’s statements hint that the relationship between the two stars is the main focus of the problem. Embiid has been the focus of many leaks in which Simmons blamed him for his statements after losing to the Atlanta Hawks and the inability to fully develop his game alongside the Cameroonian.

As much as you try to hide under the rug, things for Simmons and his situation in the franchise are the same as three months ago. Philadephia is still Joel Embiid’s team, although he is willing to make an effort to reinstate his partner. «We are professionals. We intend to win and he gives me more opportunities to do so. I try to keep everyone focused, I’m focused on basketball. There are going to be changes and adjustments, but everyone has to believe in what we do, because otherwise we won’t have a chance to win.

Embiid says more with what he is silent than with what he speaks. After the latest failure, doubts about whether he could win with Ben Simmons were the order of the day. The objective then, is to clear them once and for all. That is the great challenge, one that sticking to the facts, it is difficult to believe is possible. Joel Embiid has already started his campaign to convince unbelievers, although he must first prove that he really believes it himself.

(Cover photo by Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)