Joel Embiid knew media would try to divide him and Ben Simmons
The relationship between Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons has been under the microscope this season, but Embiid insists there is nothing but love between the two Philadelphia 76ers stars.
Simmons and Embiid have both had their ups and downs during the early part of their NBA careers, and Chris Broussard recently reported that the two former lottery picks are jealous of one another and “both want to be more celebrity than superstar basketball player.” Embiid was asked about the supposed locker room issues during an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols this week, and he said he knew the media would try to drive a wedge between him and Simmons at some point.
“A few years ago I predicted it. I said, and I’m sure if you go back to the archives and stuff you could see it, I predicted that the media were the ones — with my social media and Ben — that would go and try to drive us apart,” Embiid said, per Andrew Porter of 94 WIP Sports Radio. “So at the end of the day, we know what we got to do. I love him, I love playing with him. He’s a special talent. He helps us a lot, so I think we can accomplish something special.”
There’s no question Embiid and Simmons have some issues on the court. If Simmons was a more confident and consistent jump-shooter, the two would easily be one of the most dangerous duos in the NBA. They’d have the potential to be like a lesser version of Shaq and Kobe, but their games simply don’t mesh together that perfectly.
Of course, that does not mean Simmons and Embiid don’t like each other. Charles Barkley clearly thinks there are some problems between the two, but that is true of almost any duo of top players. Basketball issues don’t mean personal issues, and Embiid has done everything he can to shoot down talk of a rift between him Simmons.
H/T Clutch Points