Joel Embiid urges 76ers fans to continue to support Ben Simmons: ‘He’s still our brother’

PHILADELPHIA — Earlier than the Philadelphia 76ers took the courtroom for his or her house opener towards the Brooklyn Nets on Friday evening, Joel Embiid addressed the sellout crowd from half courtroom. The All-Star middle was met with MVP chants, and after they died down, he thanked the followers for his or her continued assist. 

“On behalf of my teammates, the group and myself, I simply need to say thanks on your assist for all these years, and once more now,” Embiid stated earlier than urging the followers to proceed to point out assist for Ben Simmons, who has develop into a villain of types in Philadelphia following his poor play within the playoffs final season and his subsequent commerce request. 

“Quite a bit has occurred the previous few months,” Embiid added. “I urge you guys to proceed to assist us and our teammate Ben as a result of he is nonetheless our brother.” 

Simmons’ ongoing drama with the Sixers has been well-documented, however his teammates stay open to the concept of bringing him again into the fold. 

“I would not thoughts taking part in with him once more,” Embiid stated of Simmons after the sport, a 114-109 Nets win. “And I do know my teammates would not as a result of on the finish of the day we’re simply making an attempt to win.”

Embiid has maintained that he thinks the Sixers are a greater staff with Simmons on the ground, and it will be onerous to dispute that primarily based on Friday evening’s recreation. Kevin Durant did some main harm towards the Sixers, as he completed with a game-high 29 factors to associate with 15 rebounds and 12 assists. If Simmons have been taking part in, he would have been tasked with slowing Durant, and he doubtless would have been in a position to restrict his manufacturing, to an extent — he was the Defensive Participant of the 12 months runner-up final season, in spite of everything. 

With out Simmons, the obligation of dueling Durant largely fell to Danny Inexperienced, who is not as bodily well-equipped to protect Durant as Simmons is. If Inexperienced is your second-best perimeter defender, you are in fine condition. If he is your greatest perimeter defender, that is a decidedly completely different story. 

On the offensive finish, the Sixers went the ultimate 5 minutes and 34 seconds of the sport towards Brooklyn with no area purpose. They have been up 108-98 at one level within the fourth quarter, they usually in the end misplaced 114-109. The offense utterly slowed down within the stretch of the sport, because the staff struggled to get attractiveness. Simmons confronted a number of criticism when this occurred towards Atlanta within the playoffs, however the Sixers did simply tremendous with out him in that regard on Friday evening. If something, maybe Philadelphia would have benefitted from Simmons’ skill to generate open alternatives for his teammates. 

Earlier on Friday, Simmons instructed the Sixers that he isn’t yet mentally prepared to play, and his standing transferring ahead with the staff stays a query mark. Within the meantime, it is naïve to suppose that the Sixers will not miss Simmons’ manufacturing on the ground — he was named an All-Star every of the previous three seasons for a motive. Till he returns to recreation motion for Philadelphia, or till he is moved for an additional influence participant, or two, the Sixers’ potential efficiency shall be diluted. | Joel Embiid urges 76ers followers to proceed to assist Ben Simmons: ‘He is nonetheless our brother’


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