Brett Brown and Joel Embiid

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Brown talks about relationship between Simmons, Embiid

Dave Uram
February 19, 2020 - 3:41 pm
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The last few weeks, especially as the 76ers scuffled through a dreadful four-game losing streak, the conversation about Joel Embiid’s and Ben Simmons’ compatibility in Philadelphia started ramping up—and in some cases to ridiculous notions that one needed to be traded.

It was silly, yet compelling dialogue that made you think about whether such a drastic move, either now or in the future, would make sense. If thinking logically, you should’ve quickly come to the conclusion that giving up on 25 and 23-year-old superstars as the franchise cornerstones is absurd.

“Those two are the guys that keep this thing moving and they have to really embrace each other and have their respect for each other’s games,” Tobias Harris said after Wednesday’s practice in Camden. “Their games are different. Their games are different styles, but in a way, they both do compliment each other on the floor. I’ve said that since the day that I’ve gotten here and I truly believe it. When they are out there and they’re both dominant, like the Clipper game, you could just see—it’s like they played together since they was young kids.”

During All-Star Weekend, both showed respect for one another in their comments and subtle moments on the court. On Media Day, Embiid insisted they can play together because it worked the past two seasons. He also did an interview with ESPN where he expressed his admiration for Simmons. The 6-foot-10 point guard said similar things, emphasizing how it takes time to master the cohesion everyone seeks.

Brett Brown sounded delighted about the comments made in Chicago.

“It doesn’t surprise me,” Brown said. “It kind of is newsworthy because there’s so much talk about, ‘can they co-exist? How do they play together? Are we gonna play fast? Are we gonna play slow?’ And they co-exist as it relates to like people get along and co-exist just fine.”

The thing Sixers fans should be encouraged about as the fairly easy second half gets underway is both are healthy and ready to go. Last year, Embiid missed many games because of a knee issue. This time around, Embiid is actually getting healthier because he’s ditching the splint on his left hand for buddy tape.

Embiid is healthy and back on social media, which appears to help his mentality on the court. On top of that, Brown felt Embiid and Simmons played very well together in their last game before the break—the victory over the Clippers. There’s a lot to be intrigued about with the second half starting Thursday night against Brooklyn.

“The narrative kind of grows and swells for different reasons from time to time,” Brown said of Embiid and Simmons. “And to be in Chicago and to talk about one another in that environment on different teams, it didn’t surprise me. I would be lying if I didn’t say I was thrilled to read what I read, but it doesn’t surprise me. I just think it validates to the rest of the sort of basketball, hoop world that life’s not as bad as sometimes it’s made out to be here in Philadelphia.”