Here is a thing that Bill Simmons said on his podcast back on April 13 about his first-team All-Rookie ballot:
“I put [New Orleans Pelicans forward Herbert Jones] first-team All-Rookie,” Simmons said, per SI. “I put him over Jalen Green. F*ck Jalen Green. I don’t care you’re scoring 40 points and your team’s 19–60. Congratulations. I’m sorry, I like winning players.”
It’s a quote that led to Simmons coming under some scrutiny, with Draymond Green joining the chorus of folks who had a huge issue with how Simmons presented his argument. Green posted a picture of Simmons on his Instagram Story and asked “How is it that this guy has a voice in deciding if Jalen Green will qualify for a super max deal?” Green wrote on Instagram. “He clearly says F Him, which sounds very personal btw. But he has a say in what someone earns? What work has he done in this life that qualifies him to have a say in an NBA players salary? @NBA.”
As we learned on Tuesday night, Draymond isn’t the only current player who didn’t like this. Joel Embiid spoke to the media after the Philadelphia 76ers got thrashed by the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. It was the first game since we learned that Embiid lost out to Nikola Jokic for the league’s Most Valuable Player award, and Embiid was asked about the decision.
After stressing that he knew this was coming and praising Jokic for his season, Embiid went after Simmons for what he had to say about the No. 2 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.
"If you're going to allow these type of people to vote on these awards, that's not fair."
Joel Embiid discusses Bill Simmons' remark on Jalen Green and how it impacts NBA award voting. pic.twitter.com/ujYemdxYQs
— 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐍𝐞𝐰𝐬 (@sportingnews) May 11, 2022
“I don’t know how to explain it, but I go back to what I heard on a podcast, Bill Simmons basically saying … it sounded like he had a grudge against somebody saying ‘F Jalen Green,’” Embiid said. “If you’re going to allow these type of people to vote on these awards, that’s not fair. What if Jalen Green was in a position to earn a supermax, or, I don’t know, or an All-Star appearance? You’ve got someone sounding like that, and he has a lot of power, he can sway a lot of other media members, and you got someone saying that type of stuff. I don’t think it’s fair, I don’t think it’s ok.”
Embiid is the latest player to express that they don’t like how award voting can be tied to whether or not a player becomes eligible for some additional type of compensation — for example, Jayson Tatum brought this up during an appearance on JJ Redick’s podcast. This, of course, has an additional level to it, because while Simmons was talking about how he dislikes Green’s game, using this type of language to justify where you’re placing someone on some sort of ballot is always going to go over poorly.