When Tobias Harris and Joel Embiid speak, everyone else needs to shut up and listen
The Philadelphia 76ers dropped their home opener last night to the Brooklyn Nets last night after a pretty miserable collapse late in the game, where they only scored one point on an intentional foul over the last five minutes and 32 seconds of the game. It was highlighted by a questionable non-challenge by head coach Doc Rivers. Rivers said after the game, that his assistant coach, on two separate occasions gave him the “thumbs down” on using a challenge, which could have changed the outcome of the game. Honestly, whatever. Yes, it sucked. But Joel Embiid was playing hurt and it’s only game two of the NBA season so honestly it’s not that big of a deal.
Yes, it’s clear that coaching and quite frankly the entire 76ers team continues to struggle late in games. They don’t really have a “closer” but hopefully that will develop overtime this season. None of this is what I’m actually writing about this article so we’ll deal with all the “it sucks to be a 76ers fan, poor me” talk later. I want to touch on what was said post game by Tobias Harris and Joel Embiid in regards to the city of Philadelphia’s favorite player, Ben Simmons.
As we all know, Simmons finally took a step in the right direction yesterday morning by meeting with Doc Rivers and Joel Embiid, and addressing the entire Sixers team. Simmons took responsibility and let the team know that mentally, he’s not where he wants to be yet and will need some time to return to the court. You can read more about that here.
From there, it appears everyone online switched their professional careers to be doctors and therapists, either diagnosing Ben Simmons with a mental illness or saying that he does not have a mental illness and that he was just faking it to not get fined. All of that nonsense, is in fact, nonsense. I’m not going to touch on Ben Simmons and mental health because I don’t know much about it. I do know, however, that Ben Simmons has something going on where he can’t bring himself to shoot a basketball in a real NBA game, so there seems to be something going on inside his head, but whatever.
First up, we have Tobias Harris talking about Ben Simmons:
From there, we had Joel Embiid:
Embiid also spoke to the crowd at the Wells Fargo Center before tip-off last night delivering the same message as he did postgame.
We don’t know the details of what Ben Simmons said to Doc Rivers or his teammates. What we do know, is that there is clearly a change in attitude about it. Ben Simmons spoke with the team and now we have a new, unified message about showing him support and understanding that some situations are bigger than basketball and that Simmons needs some time to work things out. All it took was some communication and honest conversation.
Tobias Harris and Joel Embiid are both fantastic people on and off the court. Yes, they are frustrating at times while playing in their own ways, but you can’t question the heart and genetic makeup of these two. They are leaders. As 76ers fans, we need to trust Harris and Embiid and listen to the words they are saying. In this case, they are speaking about Ben Simmons and asking us as a fan base to listen and handle it like they want us to. I think both Harris and Embiid have earned that type of request from the city of Philadelphia.
It’s our job to follow through. Enough with the “Fuck Ben Simmons” chants. Enough with these LITERAL CLOWNS showing up at Sixers games. Just stop it.
The message has already been delivered. Everyone in the world knows that Philly is upset with Ben. You have these three bozos, the kid, and like two other people acting like clowns all over ESPN, plus whatever Kyle from Everythings Phine was filming with a Ben Simmons pinata at Sixers tailgates where these losers where chanting fuck Ben Simmons and letting out their pent up virginity by swinging at a pinata in the Wells Fargo Center parking lot.
What exactly are we trying to accomplish here? Enough already. It’s our job to put an end to the circus. Stop acting like idiots. Shut up and listen to Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris. Let them guide us through this mess and maybe, just maybe, we’ll all come out alive with a sense of dignity. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t hold your breath.
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY SPORTS