Joel Embiid on why Philly fans turned on Ben Simmons, JJ Redick gets emotional, and more from the latest Old Man & The Three Episode
Earlier this week, JJ Redick was in Philly and tweeted out a photo of him inside the Philadelphia 76ers practice facility, sparking speculation on him possibly returning to the Sixers or replacing Kate Scott in the broadcast booth. Unfortunately, neither were true, and he was in town to interview Joel Embiid.
Joel Embiid joined JJ Redick’s podcast, The Old Man & The Three and opened up about Ben Simmons’ relationship with Philly. The entire episode was fire and if you haven’t listened to Redick’s show before, you’re missing out.
Joel Embiid Interview with JJ Redick
This is yet another example why Joel Embiid is the king of Philadelphia. He has proven time and time again that he understands this city, its culture, and most importantly the fanbase.
Embiid and Redick immediately address being booed by Philly fans and like clockwork, hit the nail on the head. Embiid smirks when talking about Philly fans while Redick discusses him being booed. He continues by saying that Philly fans are the best in the world and he wouldn’t want to play anywhere else because Sixers fans always show up and know what’s going on in the game.
Even while JJ Redick said he was shocked to see Embiid get booed in the past, Embiid takes responsibility and understands why fans get upset. Luckily for Sixers’ fans, Embiid isn’t a wet blanket like Ben Simmons and can process and respond to criticism.
Embiid looks at criticism like he has a responsibility to perform at a certain level and when he doesn’t, he looks internally to step his game up. He talks about having to change an approach in his game or work on something new.
Then Redick asks his follow up question, ‘Do you feel like part of the reason Ben wasn’t as beloved is because Ben didn’t embrace that responsibility?’
At that moment Joel had a chance to bury Ben Simmons.
Embiid has been consistent and stayed away from criticizing the entire Simmons situation. Credit to Redick as well who finally asked a different Simmons question rather than the generic one that we hear time and time again when people talk to Embiid.
I don’t care that Embiid said he thought Simmons did in fact embrace that responsibility. He did not and there’s no way you could convince me or the majority, if not all Sixers fans otherwise.
Simmons and taking responsibility go together like Cowboys fans and reality. Simmons yes, is a great player but as far as doing what it takes to be his full potential. He was clearly never going to do that.
The conversation continues with Embiid and Redick talking about seeing growth from Ben Simmons and consider the player that Simmons could be, and how frustrating it is to see him fall short of that time and time again. We all know that Ben Simmons, AT HIS FULL POTENTIAL, could near be unstoppable. We also know that Simmons is so scared about his image and refuses to grow and put himself in uncomfortable situations where he could be viewed as vulnerable.
Now the highlight of this clip, Embiid talking about memeing Ben Simmons to death.
Embiid claiming that he just tossed a tweet out there to make people laugh and it wasn’t personal might be the biggest lie ever told.
Do I think Joel Embiid sits up at night crying because Ben Simmons wanted out? Nope. Not even close but if Jojo is going to try to say he dropped that perfect meme, at the perfect time, with no ill will? Come on man. You’re in the trust tree here. You wanted to figuratively dunk all over Ben before you get the opportunity to literally do it and honestly, you had every right to do so and no one cares either way.
The whole interview is a must listen for any Sixers fan. JJ even gives a play by play review of the famous Joel Embiid high school highlight when Joel drove down the court and just tossed the ball behind him.
That clip reminds me of a certain play that happened last year in Game 7……nevermind. You get it.
Saving the best clip for last…
Embiid talks about coming from his humble beginnings, losing his brother and now being the NBA MVP (he is and if you say he’s not seek help.) Redick starts talking about coming to Philly and seeing how much Embiid has changed from the leagues biggest question mark to the best player on the planet.
JJ starts to get visibly emotional.
That’s it. This pod dropping today and Sixers taking on a bad Detroit team. Joel is dropping a 40 burger tonight. Maybe the biggest lock of the century. And if whatever group of writers and broadcasters that vote for the MVP see this and still give it to Jokic, we riot. He started playing basketball when he was like 5, Embiid gave him a 12 year head start and he’s still not as dominate.
PS: Just sign a contract for the rest of the year already JJ.