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#pounditSunday, December 5, 2021

Joel Embiid confronted Ben Simmons with question in team meeting

Joel Embiid during a game

Ben Simmons met with Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers and other members of the team on Friday morning, and he was reportedly asked a very straightforward question by one of his star teammates.

Simmons spoke with Rivers, Joel Embiid and others following a shootaround, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. The former first overall pick informed the team that he is not mentally ready to play at this time. During the meeting, Embiid asked Simmons why he wants to be traded. It doesn’t sound like Simmons gave a detailed response.

“Joel Embiid in the meeting, I’m told, asked Ben Simmons why he wants a trade. Simmons responded that mentally he is just not feeling like himself and needs to take some time away,” Charania said. “I’m told that was met with no response back.”

Charania added that Simmons received some support from teammates. Tobias Harris let Simmons know he can take as much time as he needs to get his mind right, which is consistent with the message Harris sent about his teammate publicly on social media.

The relationship between Simmons and Embiid has seemingly been in a bad place for a while. Embiid threw Simmons under the bus following Philadelphia’s postseason exit last year. According to Charania, that was the point at which Simmons started telling the 76ers he is not mentally ready to return to the team.

Simmons was kicked out of practice earlier this week by Rivers and suspended for the Sixers’ season opener. Embiid had some harsh comments for Simmons after that.

Photo: Jan 6, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) looks on during the second quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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