NBA Rumor: Embiid-Simmons Dynamic

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Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid rift escalating

Thrown under the bus, Simmons had little chance of recovering and returning to the Sixers – unless, of course, the Sixers wanted to trade Embiid and keep Simmons. They had to pick one or the other, and Embiid was the clear choice for the Sixers. But the issue was deeper than one play, one game, one series. The Simmons-Embiid rift had been escalating, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports.

As a Los Angeles Lakers player, Lue won NBA titles in 2000 and 2001 while playing with Hall of Famers and Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, who like Simmons and Embiid didn’t always get along. As a coach, Lue won the 2016 NBA title with the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron James, one of the best to play basketball, was the headliner of that squad. In addition to being the only candidate with a championship pedigree, he knows a thing or two about dealing with all-time greats.

Joel Embiid wants to play for the rest of his career with Ben Simmons

Embiid seemed to squash any concerns Sixers fans may have had about their All-Star pairing, telling the guys at Rights to Ricky Sanchez: “We’ve only played for three years and the potential that we have! I love him and I want to be with him for the rest of my career because I think he still has a lot of potential and we can get so much better than we are by now. I don’t see the point of ever playing with somebody else. That’s someone that we love to be playing with for the rest of my career.”

Joel Embiid: “I’ve always thought that for us to win a championship, when we all play together, we need to help each other. I know what to do to help him. I know when he has the ball in full court, he’s unstoppable. He’s either going to penetrate and get a bucket or he’s going to find guys, so to me, as a basketball player and someone that wants to win, I want to make sure everyone around me is also comfortable, doing their best to help me win a championship. Doing that, the way I can help [Simmons] is, when he’s in that situation, I can space out and give him some space to penetrate and do his thing. And if he doesn’t have anything, just be ready to shoot it.”

“We’ve had conversations, especially when it comes to shooting,” Embiid says. “Ben can help me a lot. I feel like I’ve helped him a lot with his game. People keep saying, ‘Oh, you have to stop spending time on the 3-point line,’ but I do it because Ben is such a good driver, going to basket, that I’ve got to help open that up for him. “I would like if he would do the same for me, to start shooting [3s]. But I also know how uncomfortable he is with it.”

Redick seemed to question the fit of some of the supporting pieces around the two stars, though. “The numbers kinda say that, when they’re on the court together, they do pretty good: 2018, pretty good (for reference: +15.5 net rating); 2019, pretty good (+7.9 net rating); 2020, still pretty good, but not as good (+0.9 net rating), right?” Redick said. “I don’t think they’re changing, so maybe the people around them are changing. That, to me, just goes back to the right fit and the right pieces. “I think that they (Embiid and Simmons) can fit together, for sure,” Redick concluded.

Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown admittedly has no idea when All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons will return from their respective injuries. Brown expressed more clairvoyance, however, on how their NBA careers will turn out. “I personally am convinced those two are going to win a championship at some point in their career and that they, for sure, can coexist,” Brown said following practice Monday at UCLA. “The myth is that they can’t. I think that is so abused and not articulated the way I see it.”

Today’s team is built around two superstars, Embiid and Ben Simmons, who happen to fit together poorly. “They have no blow ups, they never curse each other out, as far as I can tell. They just weren’t friends,” says Weitzman. “The on court thing is definitely a problem. That informs a lot. When’s the last time two superstars on a team who were such bad on court fits? They’re human, that has to grate. Ben has to be looking at Giannis [Antetokounmpo, another athletic, ball-handling multi-talent who can’t shoot well] and thinking I could do that. Four shooters and me …”

Joel Embiid has heard all of the chatter about the awkward fit between he and fellow Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons on the court, and whether the two of them are capable of winning at the highest levels playing together — noises that have only grown louder as the Sixers entered the All-Star Break in fifth place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. He has a message for the doubters: just wait. “I think it’s BS,” Embiid said here Saturday morning before All-Star practice, “because when you look at the last couple years, the last two years that we’ve been playing together, it’s not a problem. This year it’s only been a problem because our offense has struggled.”
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September 16, 2021 | 8:36 pm EDT Update
NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo was in Greece for a meeting with the country’s prime minister Thursday and a special ceremony to bestow Greek citizenship on his mother Veronica and younger brother Alex. Antetokounmpo, who led the Milwaukee Bucks to the NBA championship in July, attended the ceremony at the official residence of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The 26-year-old Antetokounmpo was born in Athens, the son of Nigerian immigrants. He was granted Greek citizenship in 2013, allowing him to travel to the United States and join the Bucks later that year.
“We always felt Greek, but now we have an official stamp and we are happy,” Antetokounmpo told reporters after the ceremony. “Alex and my mom are Greek citizens now.” Antetokounmpo also traveled to Greece in August with his brother Thanassis, carrying the Larry O’Brien NBA championship trophy. He took the trophy to the ancient Acropolis in Athens to celebrate with members of his family.
September 16, 2021 | 8:07 pm EDT Update