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‘I hope everyone is back’

'I hope everyone is back'

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76ers star centre Joel Embiid says he hopes “everyone is back” in response to reports of a rift between himself and Ben Simmons and that his co-star wants out of Philadelphia.

Simmons reportedly told team brass in a Los Angeles meeting last week that he no longer wants to be a member of the 76ers, and the three-time all-star will not report to training camp, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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Embiid took to Twitter on Wednesday after a USA Today story, citing an anonymous source, said there is a growing split between himself and Simmons.

“Sources ‘Trust me bro’!! Stop using my name to push people’s agendas,” Embiid wrote. “I love and hate drama. I love playing with Ben. Stats don’t lie. He’s an amazing player and we all didn’t get the job done. It’s on me personally. I hope everyone is back cuz we know we’re good enough to win.”

The four-time all-star Embiid added: “From my own experience, y’all have no idea how much this media makes up stuff for followers and shame on you for believing them.”

Simmons fell out of favour in Philly after a disappointing exit in the second round of the NBA playoffs to the Atlanta Hawks. 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said he didn’t know if the 25-year-old Simmons could be a point guard for a championship-level team.

Embiid also addressed Philadelphia fans, notorious for being critical of their players, for booing him a couple years ago making him work harder to prove them wrong.

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“I haven’t forgotten but (two) years ago, I got booed, people in Philly wanted me to be traded,” he said. “I even shushed them. Only the real ones didn’t but I just put the work in that offseason to be better cuz I knew I wasn’t playing up to my potential. Philly fans, y’all also gotta be better.”

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