Brooklyn Nets star Ben Simmons reveals divorce from Joel Embiid after the NBA furnace

Ben Simmons revealed that he has not yet spoken to Joel Embiid and has not spoken to his former 76ers teammate since his explosive breakup from Philadelphia.

After years of tank building a championship-winning team through the draft, everything has gone glaringly wrong in Philadelphia since Simmons famously chose not to make an open dunk in the final stages of the Eastern Conference play-off series against Atlanta. last year.

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The pair have been exchanging cool comments through public interviews for the past 12 months since Simmons made his way from the team with the Sixers in February, agreeing to a successful swap with Brooklyn for stellar shooter James Harden.

Now Simmons has given his most straightforward answer on how his relationship with Embiid is.

There is no relationship.

It was also rumored when the team was emerging as an Eastern Conference powerhouse that Simmons and Embiid were not close. Simmons appears to have dropped a bombshell in confirming that the two have never been friends outside of their professional basketball relationship.

“I’m not talking to Jo. We never really talked, ”Simmons told ESPN.

“I don’t think there was really a relationship there. How in terms of friendship? You can try as hard as you like to try to be close to someone, be their friend, whatever it is, but everyone is different as a person, so it’s never personal to me.

“I have no anger or hatred towards him. He is who he is and I am who I am and we have our personal lives. And the job is basketball, so in that moment my goal is to win and I have to win with Jo. He is a great player, we didn’t make it. “

After they failed to do so in that infamous defeat to the Hawks, Embiid and coach Doc Rivers appeared to throw Simmons under the bus.

Simmons said earlier this month about former 76ers teammate JJ Redick The old man and the three podcast the reaction of Embiid and Rivers at the time “it killed me”.

Simmons has fought a very public battle with mental health in the last few years after his departure from Philadelphia and reached an agreement on his former team’s refusal to pay his $ 20 million salary, despite the 26-year-old insisting he is not unable to play for mental health reasons.

“It has come to a point where after [Hawks] series, it’s like from the people you’re supposed to get that support or comfort from, I wasn’t getting that either, so it was a toll for me, ”he said.

“Then mentally, he killed me. I was like, shit, out of energy at all, like I was in a dark place. “

Since Simmons missed the season and refused to dress for the Sixers, Embiid said 12 months ago Simmons had been “selfish”.

Simmons has now said that he has not taken the divorce personally and has not even ruled out a possible return to play for Philadelphia because the future is impossible to predict.

He has a chance to respond to Philadelphia’s notorious hostile crowd when he returns to play against the team on November 23 (AEDT).

Simmons gives his side of the story on the lay-up that could have been

Ben Simmons famously went into his shell in the last quarter of his career with the Sixers – the Game 7 defeat to Atlanta – and nothing summed it up more than the open lay-up he turned down. Instead, he gave Matisse Thybulle a lift and the crucial bucket never happened.

Now he sees he made a mistake.

It happened so fast that you just have to read. In the playoffs, most of the time you have to make the right decisions.

“For that moment, bro, it happened and I was like, ‘OK, fuck, now we have to go do another comedy.’ Is that how I think and didn’t realize how everyone is posting like it’s that big?

“When I look at it now, I’m like, ‘I should have punched that shit,'” Simmons said.

“But it didn’t happen, and it was fine with me, I can live with it, I can live with everyone trying to kill me for a comedy. It’s like everyone wants to watch a movie with me. Like, the whole arena. I can dissect everything if you want, but it’s not realistic. “

Simmons addresses the failure to present the Brooklyn playoffs

Simmons was again torn apart by NBA commentators this year when he failed to play for the Nets at all.

The fury around Simmons exploded when the Brooklyn were wiped out 4-0 in their first-round playoff series against Boston, a huge disappointment for a team with superstars like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

Simmons, who joined the Nets from Philadelphia in a successful trade involving James Harden in February, did not play at all last season and came under heavy criticism after failing to dress for Game 4 against the Celtics, having targeted that match as a comeback.

The Australian was training with the aim of getting back into action, but on the morning of the match he woke up with a sore back and sat outside when his team’s season ended early.

NBA players and pundits dumped on Simmons for sitting outside. American sports journalist Stephen A. Smith gave the most brutal blow, saying that Simmons “might as well be the weakest and most pathetic excuse for a professional athlete we’ve ever seen not just in American history, but in sports history.”

He has since undergone back surgery.

Simmons described his star-studded Nets team as “Philly on steroids”.

He said he has no doubts about his ability to make an impact for the Nets next season and believes his body will be ready too.

Originally published as Ben Simmons reveals no returning from brutal Philadelphia divorce