76ers' Michael Rubin: Talk on Simmons, Embiid's Bad Relationship is 'Bulls--t'

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 6, 2020

Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons, right, and Joel Embiid talk during an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin is doing his best to quash any notion that Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid don't get along. 

Speaking Friday at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, Rubin addressed the relationship between his two superstars: "Any noise about their relationship not being good is bulls--t."

The dynamic between Simmons and Embiid has been a hot topic in the NBA for the past two seasons. 

One issue with the Sixers that was raised by Embiid last month when talking to reporters is their lack of offensive identity. 

"Spacing is an issue. Sometimes we play fast and sometimes we play slow. But at the end of the day, when we think about it, and as we try to get ready for the playoffs also, you know, the game slows down and it becomes a half-court gameand that's where we struggle the most. So, hopefully we do a better job the next few games."

The spacing problem stems in part due to Simmons' limited offensive style. He's attempted 617 shots so far this season, with 581 coming within 10 feet of the basket. 

Embiid has made himself a respectable jump-shooter, and his 34.2 three-point percentage this season is the second-highest of his career.

Even though the ways Embiid and Simmons play offense don't always seem to mesh well, Embiid has downplayed the idea that they can't co-exist. 

"I think it's BS, because when you look at the last two years that we have been playing together, it was not a problem," Embiid told reporters during All-Star weekend. "This year it's only a problem because at times our offense has struggled and I think it's definitely going to be better after the All-Star break."

The Sixers are currently playing without their dynamic duo due to injuries. Embiid is expected to be re-evaluated soon after suffering a left shoulder sprain on Feb. 26 against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Simmons doesn't have a return timetable after being diagnosed with a nerve impingement in his back. 

Philadelphia (38-25) has lost three of its last five games and currently owns the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference.