Embiid: Want to play with Simmons for entire career

Andrew Porter
July 30, 2020 - 9:00 am
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Spike Eskin and Michael Levin finally got their white whale this week, as Philadelphia 76ers all-star center Joel Embiid joined The Rights To Ricky Sanchez podcast. 

When asked about Ben Simmons, Embiid gave the perfect answer and exactly what Sixers fans want to hear. 

"When you think about it, this is only our third year playing together," Embiid said of him and Simmons. "We've only played for three years. The potential that we have, I love him, 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 right now. And like I don't see the point of ever playing with somebody else. That's someone I'd love to be playing with for the rest of my career."

Simmons has begun expanding his game, developing his jump shoot, and spacing the floor better, something Embiid says is key to their title run this season. 

"I know that notion of us winning the championship is not going to take me scoring 40 points on the block," Embiid said. "It's going to be a team effort. When we're in the fourth quarter and someone needs to take over, that's where I come in. But throughout the game, I got to do my best to help him succeed. Once he starts understanding the spacing and knowing that when I have the ball on the block---to me, the easiest way to get out of double teams is to just have four other guys spaced out on the perimeter and let me do my thing. And if I get doubled I'm gonna kick it out and just be ready to shoot. So he's been doing that and I'm so happy he finally now understands and I think that's what it takes for us to win a championship."

As far as his jump shot goes, Embiid says he told Simmons to just be comfortable. 

"I've always told him, if you're not comfortable don't do it," Embiid said on Simmons shooting the ball. "You gotta be comfortable. And then he finally takes one and he makes it and that gives him more comfort level to take the next ones.

"You think about what he can accomplish in a few years once he starts knocking those shots regularly and it just takes him to a different level."

Embiid, Eskin, and Levin discussed a number of other topics as well. 

On his knee injury during last postseason:

"One thing people don't know is that during the playoffs my knee was messed up, I could not jump, I could not run. I was just pushing to make sure I give us a real chance of winning, just pushing on it. But we had a real chance, but you can't forget that shot."

On this upcoming postseason:

"I'm excited about this year. We've got a real chance, I know. I'm sure no one probably talks about us, we're the six seed, but I bet you that none of those teams want to play us. I've always felt like since we got that team during the season we've struggled a little bit just getting to know how to play with each other, but I feel like we're better suited for the playoffs. Defensively, we got some guys that can guard the ball and I'm behind. We've got a bunch of play makers. We've got some shooters. We added some new guys. Shake (Milton) was doing great. Alec (Burks) came in, Glen (Robinson). I think they're gonna be big pieces of what we're trying to accomplish. This is a great time. We've got a great chance of making it happen."

On relationship with Philly fans:

"I would not want to be anywhere. I would not want to be in a city where people don't come to games. I would not want to be in a city where people come to games, but they're not interested in the game. They have no knowledge of the game. They just come for the entertainment or just for the fun of it. I like passionate, I like passionate people. If I feel like I'm not doing my job and I'm not doing it the way I can, I need them to make me feel like, 'You not doing it!'

"I got booed a few times. I got booed and I reacted and I made plays happened and I ended up going back to my old self, so it just motivated me. I feel like our relationship is different. We understand it. But then again if you dish it, you also gotta be able to take it. Just like when I shushed them and everyone went crazy, 'I'm like, well you were booing me!' But at the end of the day, it's all love. I just love being in a passionate city with passionate fans."