Ben Simmons traded for James Harden: Joel Embiid reacts with savage photo | Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets

It didn’t take long for Joel Embiid to react to Ben Simmons’ trade to Brooklyn — and the internet absolutely lost its mind over his response.

Ben Simmons is officially leaving Philadelphia and Joel Embiid didn’t waste any time saying goodbye.

After months of agitation, Simmons — who has refused to suit up for the 76ers this season — finally gets his wish by being traded. The Aussie has been shipped to Brooklyn as part of a monster deal that sees the Sixers acquire Nets superstar James Harden.

There’s no love lost between Embiid and Simmons since last season’s ugly playoffs loss to Atlanta and the Cameroonian sent the internet into meltdown as fans speculated on the meaning of his social media post after news of his former teammate’s trade was announced.

The photo Embiid tweeted out on Friday is from a famous meme that went viral in 2015. The original Instagram post reads: I stopped by one of my biggest hater’s funeral today just to make sure they were dead.

Basketball fans went into a lather as many interpreted it to be a parting shot at Simmons.

Eric Balchunas called the post “hilariously savage” on Twitter, FanSided said it was an “epic reaction” and director Cory Bowles called it “ice cold”.

Sports Illustrated wrote: “Now that he’s heading up to Brooklyn, Embiid isn’t holding back. Minutes after the trade news broke, he posted a meme that pretty clearly depicts his feelings about Simmons’s impending departure.”

TV writer Scott Tobias said: “I cannot believe this tweet is real. I love the NBA!”

Many on social media said Embiid’s post “won Twitter” as Bleacher Report’s Bryan Toporek wrote: “Joel Embiid is the best thing that has ever happened to this app.”

An hour after being posted, Embiid’s tweet had already been liked more than 245,000 times and re-tweeted more than 85,000 times.

Simmons’ relationship with Embiid deteriorated dramatically after Philly bombed out of last season’s playoffs against the Hawks. Embiid pointed the finger at Simmons’ unwillingness and inability to shoot as the reason for the Sixers’ season ending, sparking bad blood between the pair.

Questions had regularly been asked about the duo’s on-court chemistry and whether they could deliver a championship to Philadelphia. While they publicly supported each other and backed their combination over the years, there was no coming back from last season’s debacle.

Simmons was furious at being criticised by Embiid and coach Doc Rivers after the loss to Atlanta, leading him to demand a trade and refuse to play for the 76ers again.

He hasn’t played a single second of game time this NBA season but will finally be back in action when he lines up alongside Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant at Brooklyn.

Embiid was clearly fed-up with the Simmons saga as the former No. 1 draft pick dominated the headlines during the off-season. This week on Philadelphia radio’s 95.7 The Fanatic’s The Mike Missanelli Show, Embiid took a swipe at Simmons’ sour reaction to being booed by fans when he wasn’t performing up to scratch.

“You look at what has been said, I just think this is a business. If we don’t get the results, you guys are always on us, you guys are always booing us, and on us, which at times we do deserve,” Embiid said. “If you’re not playing well, you deserve the boos, you deserve to be let known that oh, you’re not playing well, you need to be better. So, I just don’t think it (Simmons’ reaction) was reasonable.

“At the end of the day, you got to have some self-awareness and kind of look at yourself and see how you can help the team.”

In October Embiid said after all the 76ers had done to accommodate Simmons over the years — including signing players like Al Horford and getting rid of Jimmy Butler — it was no longer on them to bow to the Australian’s wishes.

The All-Star centre opened up on stacking the team with shooters to compensate for Simmons’ biggest weakness, so he didn’t believe the Aussie had any right to cry “woe is me”.

“I feel like over the years, our team has been built around (Simmons),” Embiid said when asked about Simmons’ situation and reports about the Australian not wanting to play with him anymore.

“Our teams have always been built around his needs.

“Even going back to the reason we signed Al, we got rid of Jimmy, which I still think was a mistake, just to make sure he (Simmons) needed the ball in his hands and that’s the decision they made.

“The situation is disappointing, borderline kind of disrespectful to all the guys that are out here fighting for their lives.”

After the Game 7 defeat to the Hawks, Embiid was asked what he thought the turning point was in the game.

“I mean, I’ll be honest. I thought the turning point was when we — I don’t know how to say it — but I thought the turning point was just we had an open shot and we made one free throw and we missed the other and then they came down and scored,” he said at the time, referencing Simmons’ now-famous refusal to throw down an open dunk under the rim.

Embiid stood by those comments when asked about them in September.

“I don’t think I said anything,” Embiid said at Philadelphia’s pre-season media day. “I was asked a question, what was the turning point of the game and I really believe that it was the turning point of the game.

“I don’t have any regrets because I didn’t call out anybody. I just stated the facts. I’m honest, I can’t lie, and that’s just me. I don’t have any regrets because I don’t feel like I put anybody in a situation where they had to feel bad.”

World reacts to blockbuster trade

NBA writer for The Ringer, Kevin O’Connor, said the Harden trade is great news for Simmons.

“I wrote on Monday why the Nets are a dream fit for Ben Simmons,” he tweeted after the news was made official. “This deal is a massive victory for him and Klutch.

“Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving can unlock new dimensions to his game.”

MMA journalist Ariel Helwani, who worked on NBA broadcasts when employed by ESPN, tweeted: “I think both the Sixers and Nets win. Nets needed to make a change. Sixers needed to unload Simmons and try to win now. Solid deal for both. Hope they meet in the playoffs so it gets super fun and awkward!

“Kyrie and Simmons (on the road) should be interesting. Man, so much pressure on Simmons. If he stinks it up this could be it for him. Will be curious to see what shape he’s in when he returns. Hopefully he’s worked on his shot.”

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports wrote: “Brooklyn will take its time getting Ben Simmons acclimated, but the star guard welcomes a change of scenery and has already had conversations with Kevin Durant and they’re all on the same page.”

Plenty also had some fun on social media referencing the relief Sixers General manager Daryl Morey must be feeling after finally getting a deal done to send Simmons on his way.

Morey was head of the Rockets when they picked up Harden in 2012 and in 2020, in the same month Morey resigned as Houston’s GM, Harden requested a trade.

Sports Illustrated wrote on Twitter Morey had “pulled off one of the biggest blockbusters in recent memory”.

Originally published as Internet loses it over Joel Embiid’s savage post after Ben Simmons traded

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