Joel Embiid showed up to Philadelphia 76ers media leaner only in physical stature. The Sixers big man has a beefy checklist of expectations for the season that includes winning an NBA title and the MVP, among other things.
But Embiid knows better than anyone that he needs to be healthy to be able to accomplish those goals, which is a big reason why he dropped 20 pounds in the offseason.
“I feel like my focus when it comes to being in the gym, taking care of my body, making sure I’m strong, I feel like it’s been on another level the past few months,” Embiid. “I can’t accomplish winning 60 games, or the other goals, if I don’t take care of my body.”
NBA TV’s Jared Greenberg reported that Embiid wants to play 70 games this year.
Embiid spoke on his offseason training regiment and threw some shade at former Philadelphia GM Bryan Colangelo, who famously had to step down after it was revealed that his wife, Barbara Bottini, was running Twitter accounts that criticized Embiid.
“One thing with that this year is I’ve always tried to make them understand me,” he said during the Sixers’ media day on Monday. “They do understand me, especially Elton (Brand), because they have created that relationship with me where we can trust each other. With the past GM, it wasn’t all that, but this summer, I try to make them understand that we have to stay consistent.”
Last year Embiid played in a career-high 64 games, averaging 27.5 points, 13.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.9 blocks.
Mike Scott Brings Toughness to 76ers Roster
Mike Scott brings a ruggedness to the 76ers that is valued by his teammates and fans alike. But things boiled over off the court recently when Scott — a lifelong Redskins fan — got into a scrap at the Eagles season-opener with some fans.
Scott spoke on the fight at Sixers’ media day, saying he regrets the incident.
“Looking back on it, I always play devil’s advocate with myself, [I] definitely should have walked away before it got to that point. I’m the professional, I got to be the bigger person and walk away,” Scott said. “But you know, once you keep going, he was popping hella sh*t, he was going off, maybe it was the microphone. I walked up in there, and once you take it to that next level and you start throwing other slurs out there, now I got to see if you match that energy.
“That’s what happened. [I] definitely got to be the bigger person, it should have never gotten to that point. Definitely should have walked away, but I didn’t, and he was talking crazy and took it to that next level. So I had to see if he matched that energy.”
That being said, Scott is still a fan-favorite in Philly for how he handles his business on the court with a no-nonsense approach.
“I actually do like playing basketball,” Scott joked. “When the bull—- happens, I just react on that.”
Ben Simmons Keeps it Simple on 3-Point Shooting Expectations
After some time in the gym this offseason, Ben Simmons has some hype behind his jump shot. The Sixers star point guard talked about adding a long overdue 3-point shot to his arsenal during media day on Monday, and kept it simple.
“It’s part of the game,” Simmons told reporters. “If it’s open, I’ll take it.”
Simmons hasn’t made a single attempt from 3-point range in his career and has passed up even wide open opportunities. But Simmons has spent the offseason working on his game and comes in with a renewed mindset that will help.
“I think sometimes you kind of get too deep into it where you listen to other people which should never be the thing you do unless they’re giving you positive feedback or trying to help you get better because there’s a lot of negativity out there,” Simmons told the Associated Press. “It’s huge once you kind of block that out, you don’t really care, you kinda go out there feeling free. You don’t care if you miss a shot because everyone misses a shot so that’s one of the things that I think this summer I got back to how I was as a player just playing and doing what I love at a high level.”