In a shocking, and literally unexpected, turn of events, Ben Simmons reported to the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday evening. His arrival ended a lengthy preseason holdout and set up the franchise to be at full strength for the start of the 2021-22 regular season.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported earlier on Monday afternoon that Simmons’ camp and the 76ers were “progressing” on a resolution that would get the three-time All-Star back in Philadelphia. Later that evening, another report revealed that the 25-year-old point guard had touched down in the city and had started the process of going through COVID-19 protocols.
In an interesting wrinkle, the Sixers didn’t know that Simmons would be arriving in Philadelphia on Monday. The organization found out when he showed up to the Wells Fargo Center to receive a COVID-19 test.
The 76ers players weren’t aware that Simmons had touched down either as they were in the middle of playing the Brooklyn Nets in their third preseason game when Wojnarowski broke the news. After the contest, members of the team got the chance to address the situation, for what they hope will be the final time.
Star center Joel Embiid, who has been candid throughout Simmons’ holdout, seemed to be pleased that his teammate was back in Philadelphia. He made it clear that he hopes to move past the offseason drama and get back to the 76ers primary goal: winning.
“Personally, I haven’t talked to him since the season ended,” Embiid said after the Sixers preseason win Monday, per Yahoo Sports. “Obviously, I tried, but it wasn’t successful as a lot of my teammates have. Like I said, it’s unfortunate the whole situation happened, but like I say we are a better team with him on the floor.
“I think there’s gonna be some adjustments, but it doesn’t need to be awkward. I mean, we are professionals. We want to win. I want to win. So he gives us the best chance to win so that’s what I’m gonna go with.”
Joel Embiid has faith in Ben Simmons pic.twitter.com/QkOpnEeQ71
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 12, 2021
The relationship between Embiid and Simmons may take some rebuilding but will be crucial for the 76ers moving forward. The two All-Stars have struggled to mesh on the court in recent years which has led to some of Philadelphia’s disappointing playoff performances.
Embiid and Simmons will have chance to start rebuilding that chemistry when the latter gets back to practice. So long as he passes through COVID-19 protocols, he could be back at team workouts as soon as this week.
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