The Ben Simmons situation in Philadelphia has dominated the NBA offseason. The point guard requested a trade and refused to show up to training camp, among other things. However, Doris Burke believes the Philadelphia 76ers other all-star Joel Embiid is now better positioned to succeed.
Burke was speaking on ESPN’s ‘Get Up’ and was unwavering in the thought of Joel Embiid being the sole superstar in Philadelphia.
“You have Joel Embiid. Who is absolutely relishing the idea that he has an opportunity, after finishing second in MVP voting. That he can take on the leadership.”Doris Burke
Embiid missed out on the MVP award last season mainly due to missing 21 games during the regular season. But Doris Burke believes the new dynamic in Philadelphia will help Embiid on all fronts.
“Doc Rivers likes to call (Embiid) a ‘low two guard’. When you at seven feet, 280 pounds can be a three level scorer. You can give your teammates alot of confidence by getting off to strong starts. And I think he’s relishing the idea of sort of using this adversity as a rallying cry. Trying to stay at the top of the Eastern Conference. Because now you better position yourself not only for the postseason but maybe for an MVP award.”Doris Burke
Last season the 76ers finished with the best record in the East but fell to the Atlanta Hawks in the conference semi-finals. Ben Simmons’ performances in the 2021 postseason were heavily criticized by the media and the beginning of his falling out with the franchise. Burke believes they will trade Ben but only for the right price.
“It’s personal in Philly. I don’t think they can play him. I think they are going to move him for sure. The resolve is real on the side of the Philadelphia 76ers. Their mantra is ‘we need to get a difference maker.’ They want to maximise Joel Embiid’s lynchpin as a championship calibre team. They’re rallying, it’ll be interesting to see how this unfolds.”Doris Burke
The Philadelphia 76ers finished in the top three places in the Eastern Conference in each of the last four seasons but have failed to get past the conference semi-finals. Despite appearing to be down one of their best defenders and all-stars with a healthy Joel Embiid leading the pack, this could still be the 76ers year.