Philadelphia – Joel Embiid He said he was happy to do answer questions on “it” when asked if he was comfortable that the Ben Simmons Saga was officially in the past for the Philadelphia 76ers after Thursday’s huge trade that brought James Harden To the city of brotherly love.
“Yes, I’m glad I won’t answer any more questions about it,” Embiid said after finishing with 25 points and 19 rebounds in 35 minutes in a 100-87 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Wales. Fargo Center Friday night. “It’s good, not just for me, but my teammates, and the whole organization. Throughout the year, it’s been very upsetting with the whole situation, but I’m glad everyone has progressed.
“I wish everyone success in whatever they want to achieve, but I am focused on winning matches here and trying to win the championship.”
That pursuit of the championship will now be, at last, without Simmons, after the months-long drama about his desire to be traded away from the 76ers culminated in Thursday’s deal with the Nets – which saw Harden and Paul Millsap Dealing here versus Simmons, Seth CarreyAnd Andre Drummond And a pair of first-round picks.
While Embiid went out of his way to avoid mentioning Simmons’ name, it was clear that there were things about the situation that remained a nuisance to the big man. He went out of his way to say it was “disgusting to lose some of my teammates,” praising Carrie and Drummond for their contributions to the franchise.
When asked if he had spoken to Simmons, or if they would both move, he again referred to a report during training camp that Simmons wanted to have his own team, and no longer believed the partnership with Embiid could work after last season’s loss to the Atlanta Hawks. In the semi-finals of the Eastern Conference.
“I honestly don’t care,” Embiid said. “As I’ve always said, it’s unfortunate how it all happened, because you look at history and we didn’t do it as much as the playoff win, but you look at history on the field, what we did in the regular season, we were in control.
“So it’s a pity that winning wasn’t the biggest factor. It’s a pity that for him, having his own team and being the star was his priority. But I always thought everything was great, and fitness was great. But unfortunately, Ben thought it wasn’t. But we are all moving forward.”
One last parting shot gave Empid Simmons It was Thursday’s tweet Following the popular online meme trade of a man in a suit at the funeral of a “hater”.
When asked how long this tweet had been in preparation for a deal, Embiid – who goes by the alias “Troel” on his Twitter bio – couldn’t keep his face straight as he tried to work out the question.
“Honestly, I don’t even know what this tweet was about,” Embiid said with a thoughtful smile. “I just tweeted a random guy. I just saw the picture online and thought he was well dressed. He was in a nice suit, good looking, you know, he had some booty.
“So I thought it was a good picture.”
Embiid and The Sixers hope he and Harden can put together a picture-perfect tandem on the basketball court. Embiid said the players have already spoken, and Embiid – who has said several times he’s excited about the prospect of playing with the former NBA’s best player – believes Harden is the best player he has ever played with.
“It was just a lot of excitement,” said Embiid, who was wearing a wrap on his right hand/wrist after he woke up after Tuesday’s loss to the Phoenix Suns. “Just excited. Talking about the players I’ve played with, he’s probably going to be the best so far, based on what he’s accomplished in his career so far.
“So it’s just about getting everyone on the same page and finding the right way to play. We already have a system in place so we just have to bring it together and combine a bunch of new things with a bunch of things and it’s good to put it all together.”
Embiid also said he is looking forward to having someone on the field who can get away from him as much as he usually does from his teammates.
“I think the way I look at it, every time I touch a ball, there’s a double or triple team, which will make my teammates and himself better,” Embiid said. “So now you really have a choice. Are you going to double me or are you going to double it? So you have to make that decision and based on each match that might change.
“Other teams might want to get me out of the game or other teams might want to get me out of the game. So we just adapt and then go from there. But like I said, it’s exciting. I’ve never played with anyone like that. So I’m just excited. for the new challenge and I’m trying to go get it done.”
While Philadelphia doesn’t have much time to settle things – after Friday’s win, the 76ers (33-22) have just 27 games left, Harden has already been disqualified from Saturday’s game here against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
However, 76ers coach Doc Rivers declared that Harden’s arrival met Philadelphia’s expectations of chasing the championship – expectations he and his team are prepared to embrace.
“No one can put more pressure on myself than I do,” Rivers said. “It’s never going to happen. I’m involved in this to win. I’ve always been in this to win. When you get into that, when you make that decision, you understand that there will be pressure with it. And it has to be there because if it’s not there, everyone will be champions.” And I think the reason we made this deal is so we can jump into the fray.
“Think [we are good enough]Rivers continued. I do not know. This is something we will find out. We did it with the belief we do, obviously.
“We don’t have a lot of time. The Phoenix World Team and the teams, Milwaukee and Miami, they’ve been working together in Milwaukee for three years, four years, as a group. So we’ve got to get that done fast.”
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