Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons reportedly believes his partnership with center Joel Embiid has "run its course," according to Sam Amick of The Athletic.
Simmons, who did not report to training camp Monday, reportedly believes their styles clash too much, according to Amick.
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.
“It has run its course,” the source said of their pairing.
Simmons, 25, wants more open lanes to the basket, and that is a problem when Embiid's style of play keeps him in the paint. Simmons' thoughts on the matter are reportedly not personal.
Joel Embiid wants Ben Simmons back
Embiid doesn't see it that way. Embiid — and other 76ers teammates — reportedly wanted to meet with Simmons to discuss his return, but Simmons turned them down.
Embiid, 27, wasn't deterred by that. Embiid said Monday he still wanted Simmons to return to the 76ers.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) September 27, 2021
Even if Simmons' musings are correct, it's tough to fault the 76ers for leaning on Embiid. The team finished as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference last season. Embiid had his finest year in the pros, averaging 28.5 points and 10.6 rebounds.
Building the team around Embiid's strengths has worked, at least in the regular season.
Ben Simmons rift began after playoff exit
The playoffs were a different story. Simmons received a lot of criticism following the 76ers' loss to the Atlanta Hawks. His ability was questioned by head coach Doc Rivers, and Simmons' refusal to shoot the ball was a source of frustration for Embiid.
Following that playoff loss, Simmons expressed a desire to remain in Philadelphia. Those quotes from Embiid and Rivers may have led to Simmons changing his mind during the offseason.
Simmons appears firm in his decision, leading to the stalemate. It's possible Simmons could blink once he starts losing more money, but the situation looks irreparable based on all the reports.