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Joel Embiid Says Sixers Teams Have 'Always Been Built Around' Ben Simmons' Needs

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Joel Embiid isn't sugarcoating his comments when it comes to being asked about the drama surrounding Ben Simmons. On Thursday, he spoke his mind when asked about a recent report that said playing around Embiid's style isn't good for Simmons' game.

"Our teams have always been built around his needs. So it's just kind of surprising to see. Even going back to, the reason we signed Al [Horford], we got rid of Jimmy [Butler], which I still think was a mistake, just to make sure he needed the ball in his hands," Embiid said.

He went on to say the situation is "disappointing" and "borderline kind of disrespectful."

"I'm really focused on the guys that are here. The situation is disappointing, borderline kind of disrespectful to all the guys that are out here fighting for their lives. Some guys rely on the team being successful to stay in the league and make money somehow. Because if you're on a winning team, you're always going to have a spot in the league, just because you're on a winning team and you contributed."

Embiid made it clear that he feels the Sixers are a better team with Simmons.

"We are a better team with him, there's no question about it," Embiid said. "We still hope he changes his mind, but I kind of owe it to these guys to worry about what we have here."

Simmons didn't report to the Sixers Media Day on Monday and it is unclear if he will join the team this season.

He signed a five-year, $167 million contract extension with the Sixers in July of 2019, leaving him under contract with the Sixers for the next four years.

"Ben is a very good player, a big part of this team," 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey said. "We're disappointed he's not here. We're making our choices but we're excited, we're very excited about the players who are here."

The Sixers can fine Simmons for missing Media Day and the fines increase for missed practices going forward.

The Sixers open the preseason on Oct. 4 in Toronto against the Raptors and if Simmons does not show up for the game, he can be suspended.

The Sixers regular season begins on Wed. Oct. 20 against the Pelicans in New Orleans.

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