Sixers coach Doc Rivers sounds off on Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons ‘can’t win together’ slander
The Philadelphia 76ers have long been branded as one of the biggest underachievers in the NBA. Prior to this season, there was a lot of doubt as to whether or not Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons could actually co-exist to lead the Sixers to glory. Philly pretty much erased all doubt this year, and head coach Doc Rivers made sure to remind everyone about it.
Even before arriving in Philadelphia prior to the start of this season, Rivers was already hearing about the Embiid-Simmons slander. For his part, coach Doc never bought into the narrative:
“I knew Ben and Joel can play together. Everything I heard coming in here is that they couldn’t, and I kept saying I don’t understand that. Why would people think that? I don’t think it’s a surprise though, I think it’s what we saw coming in,” Rivers said, via Kevin McCormick of SI.com.
There’s no denying that Rivers has played a key role in the emergence of the Sixers as the best team in the East. He’s tapped into the potential of both Embiid and Simmons, who for their part, are currently in the running for the league’s MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards, respectively.
More importantly, this has translated to wins for the Sixers — the best record in the entire Eastern Conference, that is.
All this does not matter now, though. It’s playoffs time, and the Sixers will need to prove that their regular-season success was not a fluke. At this point, anything less than a trip to the NBA Finals would be considered a disappointment.