Embiid asks 76ers fans to “support our teammate, Ben, because he’s still our brother”

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Ben Simmons told 76ers management and his teammates Friday he was not mentally ready to play, and he did not suit up for the team’s home opener Friday night against the Nets.

Had he played, the never-shy Philadelphia fans would have let Simmons know exactly how they felt about his holdout and trade demand, and in no uncertain terms.

Before the game, Embiid took the microphone to address the crowd, and at the end of his comments he asked the 76ers faithful to support Simmons.

Embiid understands that a Simmons trade likely is not coming in the near future, and he wanted to do something to ease a potential return of Simmons to the lineup at some point. Embiid told ESPN before the game tonight that he hopes Simmons returns to the lineup, that the team is better with him.

Also, concerns about a players’ mental health need to be taken seriously. If Simmons says he’s not ready, he’s not ready, and the team — and, ideally, fans — need to accept that.