Joel Embiid still doesn’t understand the divorce from Ben Simmons

Top scorer in the League with 29.9 points per game, plus 11 rebounds on average, Joel Embiid is once again one of the big favorites for the MVP trophy, won last season by Nikola Jokic.

Invited to Draymond Green’s podcast, the Cameroonian pivot of the Sixers returned bluntly to the famous soap opera involving his ex-teammate, Ben Simmons, now in Brooklyn after a stormy exit from the last playoffs and a notable absence all this season.

Associated with James Harden, Joel Embiid hopes to be able to go all the way this season with his Sixers. But for the Philly All-Star, it was already the case, in theory, with Ben Simmons at his side. Hence his incomprehension, even today, on this discomfort which finally made the Australian flee from the city of brotherly love.

“I never asked for the franchise to release him. I never asked that. I just asked to understand because I didn’t know what was going on. Honestly. I never understood what happened, and what led to this situation today”, explain Joel Embiid. “Obviously we didn’t manage to win the title but, in the regular season, we dominated. Each season, we reached fifty victories. I always believed that we had a chance to win [le titre] together. I always believed in that, and even today, I think we could have won together. We know that winning [le titre] is what counts in the end but I really think we had our chance. That’s why I didn’t understand everything that happened, and what caused everything that happened. He wanted to leave and I understood his explanations but there are still a lot of things that don’t make sense. »

The hot exits of Doc Rivers and Joel Embiid in the press conference just after their elimination from the playoffs against Atlanta have been brandished as one of the reasons why Ben Simmons ended up losing faith in his team and his teammates. Ben Simmons then never appeared again in the Sixers tunic.

“When I criticize them publicly, it’s not personal, it’s to make the team better”

However, Joel Embiid refutes the idea that what he said during this press conference had an influence on the desires of departure of Ben Simmons. For Embiid, it’s his duty as a leader to put his teammates back in place when things don’t work, neither more nor less…

“I don’t think it played a role. [dans sa décision]. That’s what you were saying about the media who like to pick up on the smallest thing to try to create controversy. If you watch the whole press conference, in its entirety, you will realize that they were asking me what happened. What caused this defeat? And I list a whole bunch of things that could have led to this defeat. And I said what was on my heart, I didn’t hold back so as not to offend the sensitivity of so and so. I didn’t even mention the action where he refuses the dunk. I just said we missed an opportunity and then I brought up Matisse [Thybulle] who missed a pitch. I didn’t mention him by name but I talked about it like this: “we” missed a shot. And afterwards, I talked about a foul on a 3-point shot, and a stray ball when we were at -4 which allowed them to score on the counter-attack, to lead by 6 points. I talked about other facts of matches where we missed things, including me in them. But the media took this phrase. While I say we declined a layup and missed a shot, not mentioning anyone by name! »

To give a point of comparison, Joel Embiid evokes another press conference during which he did not hesitate to scratch Tyrese Maxey.

But, there again, for Joel Embiid, it is completely normal, even completely legitimate because it is about the good of the team as a whole. A collective from which Ben Simmons felt excluded, with no possibility of return…

“It’s normal to push your teammates. Like at my press conference with Tyrese [Maxey]. He wasn’t taking his shots, he was missing easy shots and when he doesn’t take open shots, I have to say it publicly. You must be better than that. But as a teammate, and as we are very close off the field, he knows that I want him to be better. Not for me, but for the team and himself. I know what it takes to win. I haven’t won yet [le titre] but I know we weren’t far from it. We lose on a buzzer shot and that year [en 2019]we could very well have ended up against you [les Warriors] in the NBA Finals. I think I have a good idea of ​​what it takes to win. No one can win alone. You have to have teammates around you. When I criticize them publicly, it’s not personal, it’s to make the team better. I want to win so much that I want them to be better. But they know I’m on their side. »

Joel Embiid Percentage Bounces
Season Team MJ Min Tirs 3pts LF Off Def Until Pd Fte Int Bp Ct Pts
2016-17 PHL 31 25 46.6 36.7 78.3 2.0 5.9 7.8 2.1 3.6 0.9 3.8 2.5 20.2
2017-18 PHL 63 30 48.3 30.8 76.9 2.3 8.7 11.0 3.2 3.3 0.6 3.7 1.8 22.9
2018-19 PHL 64 34 48.4 30.0 80.4 2.5 11.1 13.6 3.7 3.3 0.7 3.5 1.9 27.5
2019-20 PHL 51 30 47.7 33.1 80.7 2.8 8.9 11.6 3.0 3.4 0.9 3.1 1.3 23.0
2020-21 PHL 51 31 51.3 37.7 85.9 2.2 8.4 10.6 2.8 2.4 1.0 3.1 1.4 28.5
2021-22 PHL 56 33 48.9 36.5 82.1 2.1 9.3 11.4 4.4 2.7 1.0 3.0 1.4 30.0
Total 316 31 48.7 33.5 81.1 2.3 9.0 11.3 3.3 3.1 0.8 3.4 1.7 25.7

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