After 76ers superstar Ben Simmons said his on-court relationship with co-star Joe Embiid has "run its course," Embiid responded on Thursday saying that the whole situation around his disgruntled Philadelphia teammate was "disappointing" and "borderline kind of disrespectful" to the rest of the team.
Simmons, who has been pushing for a move away from the 76ers, is yet to report to training camp and intends to hold out until he is traded.
"The situation is disappointing, borderline kind of disrespectful to all the guys that are out here fighting for their lives," Embiid said, The Athletic reported.
At Philadelphia, Embiid and Simmons had grown from lottery picks to All-Stars to franchise cornerstones getting paid max contracts together and — the thought was — they would try for a decade to win NBA championships together.
Meanwhile, Embiid further argued that the team has always tried to accommodate Ben Simmons.
"I feel like our teams have been built, whether it's the shooting need or stretch-5 and all that stuff, I feel like [Simmons] always had it here. And we still have it," the All-Star big man said.
Talking about the Sixers' offseason in 2019, when they let Jimmy Butler go to the Miami Heat, and signed Al Horford instead, Embiid said it was a "mistake."
"Even going back to the reason we signed Al. We got rid of Jimmy, which I still think it was a mistake, just to make sure [Simmons] needed the ball in his hands. That's the decision they made. Like I said, it is surprising," Embiid added.
However, Embiid reiterated that the 76ers were a better team with Simmons in their lineup and he hoped the All-star point guard would change his mind.
"Obviously we’re a better team with him. We’re not a better team without him, that’s for sure," he said, further adding, "We still hope he changes his mind, but I kind of owe it to these guys to worry about what we have here."
Simmons has four years and $147 million left on his max contract -- including $33 million for 2021-22. With just 20 days left for the season to start, there is no substantial trade deal that has yet been chalked up.