“Change the Narrative”: Sixers’ Doc Rivers Optimistic About Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons Relationship

Published 11/03/2020, 6:00 AM EST
LOS ANGELES, CA, SATURDAY, APRIL 19, 2014 – Clippers coach Doc Rivers glares at his players from the sidelines after they squandered a 10 point lead in the first half in game one of the NBA Western Conference Playoffs at Staples Center. (Photo by Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The year 2020 is here to teach us that change is the only constant. In the NBA’s context, the changes this year are not limited to players getting traded and stars becoming free agents, it’s also about the revamp of the front-offices for many teams. The Philadelphia Sixers top this list with its masterstroke right after getting eliminated from the playoffs.

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Just as the Clippers removed Doc Rivers as head coach, the 76ers took him on-board within the next 3 days. This was faster than a free-agent player would get signed by any organization. So what exactly attracted the former Clippers coach to make his mind so quickly?

Doc Rivers has complete faith in the Sixers

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In an interview, the 59-YO coach sounded fairly positive about working with the talents like Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Rivers expressed, “We have to change the narrative. They haven’t won yet. It’s not that they can’t win.” He later added, “Again, I haven’t been in the lab with them yet, but I know they can.”

Coach Doc Rivers tasted the greatest success in his coaching career more than a decade back with the Boston Celtics. His unique approach of inculcating an atmosphere of unity helped the Celtics play like one. He used the term “ubuntu (I am because we are)” to drive a change in that squad. 

This becomes especially important for the 76ers because they’ve lately struggled to fit the trio of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Al Horford together. Perhaps the incoming of Doc Rivers can help them with this lagging.

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The 76ers have all the pieces set

The Philadelphia 76ers have specifically suffered from their poor floor spacing ability. Daryl Morey, their new hiring as the franchise President, is coming from a team that was the leader in it. 

He is one of the most active executives in the league. His plans of taking a “gap year” went out of the park when the Sixers approached him with the offer. He knows that a championship can be won with players like Embiid and that it will take him time to understand the culture of the Sixers. So one can hope that he can later trade a few pieces here and there to equip the team with better shooters.

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The Sixers, however, are very strong at their defense. Their 2020 playoffs got hampered with the injury of Ben Simmons. But now that they have Doc Rivers and Daryl Morey as a killer combination, the chances are strong that they live up to the expectations of this coming season.

Read also – Philadelphia 76ers Officially Announce Daryl Morey As New President Of Basketball Operations

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Sourabh Singh

1739 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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