Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid Are The Stars Philly Needs

Jun 24, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers number one overall draft pick Ben Simmons (R) is greeted by center Joel Embiid (L) during a press conference at the Philadelphia College Of Osteopathic Medicine. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 24, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers number one overall draft pick Ben Simmons (R) is greeted by center Joel Embiid (L) during a press conference at the Philadelphia College Of Osteopathic Medicine. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

It has been a long time since the Philadelphia 76ers had a player who was a city-wide star. Now they have two.

Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have surely been boosting ticket sales and overall excitement about the 2016-2017 Sixers just by being themselves over the past couple weeks. Whether it is through social media, good deeds, or making waves on the pop culture scene, Simmons and Embiid are exactly what the city of Philadelphia needs right now to get everyone stoked on Sixers basketball again.

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Not since the dominating days of Allen Iverson stoking the fire that was Philly’s passion for hoops have we seen this much hoopla surrounding this team. Even more impressive than that is the fact that those Iverson-led Sixers teams were winning games. This Sixers roster likely won’t come close to making the playoffs and yet there is just as much enthusiasm surrounding them as the AI squads.

Part of the reason is that this season is going to be the very first sign of substantial growth as they exit the horrific, fan-dividing period that was the 3-year tank. However a lot of it has to do with the way the Sixers are promoting this season as an organization starting with the players.

Simmons and Embiid are well aware that if they play to their potential they will become immortal in Philly sports history. So, in the mean time, they have done a great job keeping themselves in the public eye for all the right reasons.

Here are some of the best moments from the lives of JoJo and Ben as of late:

Embiid Arm Wrestles Justin Bieber

In this clip you can see Joel Embiid taking on pop-culture icon Justin Bieber in an arm wrestling contest this past Friday and Hyde Sunset Kitchen on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. The friendly match goes as expected with the much larger Embiid coming away victorious. Embiid is as likable as they come and his personality (like his size) is larger than life. Hanging out with the Biebs will really boost his national exposure, and in turn, creates more buzz for the Sixers heading into training camp.

Embiid Reps TTP

Embiid knew exactly what he was doing with this Instagram post. He was aiming at the hearts of process-trusters everywhere, and he hit the bullseye. Ever since a Philly fan attending the NBA draft got national face time holding up a sign that read “Hinkie Died For Your Sins,” the saying has been jokingly thrown around the Sixers twitter world a bunch. Embiid took the hilarity to another level by showing his support of the former GM using two fantastic hashtags, and referring to his as “THE GOAT.”

Simmons Spends Time At Sixers Camps

As a former attendee of Sixers camps I can tell you that there is nothing more exciting than seeing your favorite team’s players come out and spend their time with you and your fellow campers. Ben Simmons got to mess around with the youngsters a bit on Tuesday as he made an appearance. He really looked like he was enjoying himself, and he even gave some sound advice to the kids. Being an iconic athlete means giving back sometimes, and at twenty years-old that Ben Simmons already gets that notion.

Simmons Buys Shoes For Young Fan

Speaking of giving back, Simmons made the day of two brothers at the Cherry Hill Mall last week. Simmons was shopping for sneakers at Finish Line and Kicks USA when he actually took the time to talk to the eleven year-old younger brother Jordan Underwood about which shoes he liked. Simmons followed that by asking about the shoe size, and proceeded him to buy him his favorite shoes from the store. The interaction was all caught on camera by older brother Davon Presberry. Davon followed up with a video blog that takes you through their awesome experience with the number one overall pick. So far, you really get a sense that Ben Simmons is exactly the kind of person you want to as a franchise pillar from an off-the-court perspective.

Saying the Right Things

What a perfect answer. Ben Simmons is going to be scrutinized about his scoring ability his entire rookie season, and up until the point he becomes a polished shooter. To think he is shutting down one side-or-the other questions this early in his career means you likely won’t be getting any controversial quotes out of him any time soon. It’s about winning in Philadelphia and nothing else matters. Apparently the same thing applies for Simmons.

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I think the best way to summarize this all is that these two guys get us. They understand the Philadelphia fan base, and are doing everything they can to make this journey to the top an enjoyable one. Both players are quickly becoming the most talked about topic in Philadelphia sports, and we still have multiple months before the season even starts. Just wait until they get on the court together.