Simmons believes 76ers can win NBA championship

Oleh Dejan Kalinic 5 Disember 2020 6
Simmons believes 76ers can win NBA championship

Ben Simmons believes he can help lead the Philadelphia 76ers to an NBA title alongside Joel Embiid.

Doc Rivers has replaced Brett Brown as head coach of the 76ers, who have reached the playoffs in each of the past three seasons but are without a championship since 1983.

Simmons' chemistry with Embiid has been questioned, although Philadelphia have a 64.7 win percentage when they both play compared to 41.6 when one or both misses a game since 2016-17.

The top pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Simmons believes the 76ers – who have added the likes of Dwight Howard, Danny Green and Seth Curry in the offseason – are on the right track ahead of the upcoming campaign.

"I think Joel and I both realise how unique and special this moment is. For two guys, like us, to be on the same team at a young age," Simmons said.

"You know everybody wanted it [for him and Embiid to be coached by Brown] for the first couple of years, but it didn't happen and it doesn't work like that.

"We have a new opportunity, we have new guys on the team, new leadership. And I think we can go all the way. I wouldn't be sitting here if I didn't believe it and I don't think Dwight would be either if he didn't believe it."

Simmons, who averaged 16.4 points, eight assists and 7.8 rebounds during the 2019-20 regular season, joked he was moving in with Embiid.

Meanwhile, Embiid also dismissed reports which questioned his relationship with Simmons.

"I mean we can't hang out off the court. I have got a newborn, I've got a family to take care of, trying to stay safe, I don't want to get the virus and I don't want to give it to anybody," he said.

"I am going to do the same thing that I have always done and that is to make sure I always protect my family, and the people I am around, and then also my team-mates. It is just doing the right things.

"But we have been texting a lot, we have been communicating a lot. The notion of what people have been saying in the past, I just don't think it's true. You know, on the court, if you are looking at two years ago, when we had a lot of space and we were able to dominate together. That was just the way to go. And, last year was just different because we didn't have... that wasn't the same as we have always had. To be able to do the same things that we've been doing in the last couple of years.

"Our relationship is great. We have been way closer, even on the court. If we have got to walk out, we are walking out together as a group. If we gotta play two on two, I want him on my team. You know just playing ball together and just going from there.

"You know the national media always trying to create stories because they don't have anything to talk about, but we are fine. We know where we are, we know what our goals are and we know what it takes to accomplish it. We have been through a lot and we are just going to keep working hard and stay together to try to make it [winning a championship] happen."

The 76ers begin their 2020-21 season against the Washington Wizards on December 23.

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Dejan Kalinic

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