Report: Ben Simmons Thinks Playing With Joel Embiid Has ‘Run Its Course’ Because Their Styles Don’t Fit

It’s gotten to the point that it would be beyond shocking if Ben Simmons ever plays for the Philadelphia 76ers again. A new report by Sam Amick of The Athletic gives some insight into one of the major reasons Simmons has gotten to this point: his on-court fit alongside Joel Embiid.

According to Amick, while there isn’t some major personal beef that exists between the Sixers’ two All-Star players, Simmons is of the belief that the way he plays and the way that the team has tried to build its roster around Embiid are not two things that are compatible.

Yet of all the problem areas to explore, there’s none more unyielding and impossible to ignore than this: People who have intimate knowledge of how he sees this situation continue to insist that he’s done playing with Embiid. There’s nothing personal about this choice, it seems, but the 25-year-old Simmons has clearly decided that his career is better off without Embiid blocking the runways in the paint that he so badly needs to succeed.

As he sees it, sources say, the organization’s choice to build its basketball ecosystem around Embiid’s style simply isn’t conducive to the way he needs to play. So while Embiid insisted to reporters on Monday that he wants Simmons back, this much is clear: The feeling is not mutual.

The flip side of this is that Embiid has made clear that he does want to play with Simmons, as he tweeted that he believes this group of players is good enough to win a championship should they run it all the way back. While the team lost in the conference semifinals last year, Philly did have the best record in the Eastern Conference during the regular season.

Embiid was reportedly among a contingent of Sixers players that wanted to make its way out to Los Angeles to have a face-to-face conversation with Simmons, but they were told to stay home by the man himself. The sentiment around Simmons, Amick says, is that “it has run its course” with Embiid, so while the 2020-21 MVP told the press on Monday that he believes his running mate would help if he played like he did in the videos posted to social media this offseason, that doesn’t look like it’s ever going to happen.