Joel Embiid hopes the Sixers keep him and Ben Simmons together long term.
This is a pleasant morning for basketball fans everywhere. The NBA is back after four months of dreadful uncertainty, and soon enough, the Sixers will also return to action. Perhaps more pleasant for Sixers fans, however, is a recent comment made by star center Joel Embiid.
In a recent appearance on The Rights to Ricky Sanchez Podcast, the 26-year-old heaped praise on teammate Ben Simmons. He applauded Simmons’ newfound willingness to shoot 3s, and then let slip a desire he shares with most of the Sixers fanbase. Embiid said he wants to play next to Simmons for the rest of his career.
You can see the clip below.
“He’s been [shooting 3s], and I’m so happy that he finally understands — and, I think that’s what it takes for us to win a championship. When you think about it, we’ve only played — this is what, our third year together, playing. I mean, a lot of people, you know, they expect. 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 me too. We can get so much better than we are.”
This is surely music to the ears of anyone who follows Sixers basketball.
Speculation has long circulated around Embiid and Simmons’ relationship. Embiid is a more closed-off personality — the kind of guy who stays home, lounges around the house, and doesn’t really foray into the spotlight. Simmons dated a Kardashian and, from the outside looking in, seems to have a greater appetite for the social luxuries of NBA stardom.
And even on the court, differences are not hard to come by. Embiid is the louder, more rapturous personality when he’s in his zone. Simmons is much more stoic and straight-faced. Almost a reversal of their public images, in a way.
Regardless of how you slice it, the national media has long taken interest in the apparent disconnect between Embiid and Simmons — two stars who aren’t BFFs in front of the camera, nor away from it. Naturally that speculation has festered and grown into something uglier, only accentuated by the poor basketball fit.
Seemingly since day one, members of the media have questioned Embiid and Simmons’ compatibility in every respect. Can they fit on the court? Can they fit off the court? Do they even like each other?
Hopefully this response from Embiid can quiet the critics — for a while, at least. Embiid and Simmons have never been the perfect pair, but all the numbers suggest a perfectly workable union on the court. And away from it, it’s clear Embiid and Simmons share a mutual respect and appreciation for one another, even if they aren’t hitting the same clubs every weekend.
It’s safe to expect the Embiid and Simmons duo to work for as long as the Sixers try to make it work. I’d bet on Philadelphia pulling the plug before either one of Embiid or Simmons demands a change.