Jay Williams: Joel Embiid 'All Grown Up' After Refusing to Take Shot at Ben Simmons in Latest Interview

Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons
Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Ben Simmons is out of Philadelphia but his situation is not forgotten yet and will not be for a long time. There is still significant interest in what, exactly, happened between Simmons and the 76ers. Simmons' holdout was a bit murky from the start and when it dragged on into the first half of the season it only got murkier as both sides began to leak reports to the media in the battle of public perception.

It is therefore no surprise that Joel Embiid sat down for an interview with Malika Andrews to talk about the Simmons situation over All-Star Weekend. It aired on ESPN yesterday. And it was fairly tame.

Jay Williams discussed the interview today on Keyshawn, JWill, & Max and said it was proof that Embiid has grown up because, in the past, the big center would have used the stage to take a shot at Simmons. Williams noted this was "scary" because it means Embiid is focused and a focused Embiid is extremely bad news for opposing defenses.

Which is all well and good... except for the fact that Embiid didn't take a shot at Simmons because he already took his shot at Simmons. On the day he was traded. When Embiid tweeted out a meme effectively calling Simmons a hater and celebrating his "funeral" as a metaphor for his departure from Philadelphia. This was such a thing that the guy featured in that meme met up with Embiid at the All-Star Game, and the 76ers star was very happy to take a picture with him.

Yeah. Let's not make any assumptions about Embiid growing more mature about these things. Not only is it wrong, it's also extremely lame. Who wants Embiid to be the "bigger man" here? Nobody should. He clearly was aggravated that Simmons couldn't take the heat and forced Embiid to carry the team on his back for the first half of the year. There is justifiable animosity and there is no harm done to anything except Simmons' feelings if that animosity is aired to the public.

Let them fight!