US Sports Veteran
Apparently all isn’t well in the city of brotherly love. The Philadelphia 76ers star center Joel Embiid recently came out and admitted he’s been frustrated with his role on the team since the 76ers traded for Jimmy Butler.
Specifically, Embiid cited a lack of possession in the post and feeling out of the flow of the offense as potential causes for his struggles through the last couple of games, according to Keith Pompey of Philly.com. If there’s one thing we’ve learned since the start of the modern NBA arms race, it’s that super stars don’t always work together well. At the very least it usually takes time for them to adjust to each other’s games. Sometimes it takes the majority of an entire season for that to happen. Other times it doesn’t happen at all. Now, Embiid is having to go through this process for the first time with Butler who recently left a toxic situation in Minnesota with Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns.
There have been plenty of examples of times when supposed “super teams” or stars just never learned to work together. Besides Butler’s most recent venture in Minnesota, we’ve seen duos like Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant never find their chemistry and pairings like Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal be successful but never get along. It’s all a process, to borrow one of Embiid’s favorite words, and it doesn’t always end well.
Clearly the 76ers added Butler with the hope of making a championship run this year and it even sounds like Butler will sign long-term with the team after the season. If that’s the case, Embiid will have to sacrifice a little for the betterment of the team. We saw that Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade did this when they teamed up with LeBron James in Miami. And Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry have both sacrificed to accommodate Kevin Durant in Golden State. While Butler isn’t on the level of Durant or James, he’s still a really good player.
On the other hand, Butler and 76ers head coach Brett Brown needs to realize that Embiid is the best player on the team. The team should revolve around him, not Butler. Embiid is the super star with future MVP potential, which means the team has to accommodate him, not the other way around.
Whether Embiid and Butler will be able to find a playing style that works for both of them remains to be seen. However this turns out, the 76ers title contending hopes for this season, and maybe future seasons could hinge on the outcome.
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