Embiid denies rift with Simmons: 'I love playing with Ben'

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Joel Embiid has slammed a report indicating that an "escalating" rift between him and co-star Ben Simmons forced the Philadelphia 76ers' brass to choose between them.

A day after Simmons reportedly requested a trade, Embiid praised the point guard and believes the blame for the 76ers' playoff failures should be spread around.

"Sources, 'Trust me bro!!' Stop using my name to push people's agendas. I love and hate drama. I love playing with Ben," Embiid wrote on social media. "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 (because) we know we're good enough to win."

The big man also called out the 76ers' fan base, which has been notably harsh on the team despite the regular-season success over the past four campaigns.

"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," Embiid wrote.

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

"For clarity, I love the criticism, I love when I'm told I can't do something," Embiid continued. "It makes me work harder to prove everyone wrong but not everyone is built like that."

Philadelphia head coach Doc Rivers defended Simmons in May after fans criticized the All-Star guard despite producing a historic performance in the club's Game 1 victory against the Washington Wizards this past postseason.

Veteran wing Danny Green also voiced his support for Simmons in July, asking the 76ers faithful to give the former No. 1 pick the respect and support he deserves after a rough playoff performance versus the Atlanta Hawks.

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Embiid denies rift with Simmons: 'I love playing with Ben'
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