It’s been a little more than a month since the Philadelphia 76ers and the Brooklyn Nets pulled off a blockbuster trade centered around Ben Simmons and James Harden. In that time, we’ve seen Harden suit up for Philly, while Simmons has been sidelined in Brooklyn as he deals with a lingering back issue.
Despite the fact that the Simmons saga went on for months and has been resolved for some time, Joel Embiid still is confused as to how we got to a point that Simmons determined his best path forward was never suiting up for the Sixers again. Embiid appeared on Draymond Green’s podcast and got asked about Simmons’ departure, and shot back after Green said that he “expressed your dismay with the situation, expressed ‘get him out of here,’ then.”
“I never said that, to get him out of there,” Embiid said at the 1:25 mark of the above video. “I just didn’t understand what was going on, honestly. I didn’t understand, like, what happened and what led to that whole situation. To this day, I don’t understand. Even when you look at — and I don’t have any problems with him, and like I said, obviously we didn’t win a championship together, but in the regular season, we were dominant. Every single season, 50-win seasons. I always believed that we had a chance to win together. I always believed it. Even to this day, I believe that we had a chance to win, and what we were able to accomplish, obviously winning matters the most but I feel like we had a chance, and that’s why I don’t understand what was going on, honestly, what caused him to want to leave. I understand his explanation, but a lot of things don’t make sense.”
Embiid had quite the reaction in the immediate aftermath of the trade, making clear that he was ready for the whole thing to come to an end. Throughout this season in the lead-up to the trade, Embiid expressed his desire for Simmons to come back, even if he, on a few occasions, spoke candidly about the situation.