Running Thread: Sixers End-of-Season Availability

Joel Embiid in game seven
Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The season is over.

Therefore, it’s time for end-of-season availability.

The players will be speaking to the media one-by-one today, so I will continue to update this post as each guy comes up to the podium. I’ll try to drop in the video clips as well.

Up first, it’s:

Jonathon Simmons

  • Wants to work on everything, get his body right coming into next season.
  • Next year is a new year, a new start to whatever happens.

More players after the jump:

JJ Redick

  • Offseason plans – Doesn’t enjoy being a free agent. No offseason plans yet.
  • What is he looking for next season? – “I don’t think I’ve thought enough about it. As you make these decisions, you factor in money, stability, the opportunity to win. With each passing year that becomes more important for me (winning). You also factor in whether you’re going to enjoy going into work every day, plus Chelsea (wife) and the boys.”
  • This last two years has been “as good as I’ve had” in terms of his career.
  • He thinks the Sixers were one of 4-5 teams that had a “legit chance” to win it all. “We were nearly an overtime opportunity away from the conference finals.”
  • It was “one of the stranger years of my career… there really were three versions of this team, and the third version of this team didn’t get a lot of Joel Embiid.”
  • He would “love to be back with the Sixers” and would love to finish his career here, but acknowledges that he’s “low on the totem pole” as the team has other priorities.
  • On Brett Brown: “Seems like it’s pretty obvious that I love Brett and love playing for him. I think what he’s done for this organization is nothing short of remarkable…. I don’t think my opinion of Brett really should matter to people that have questions, nor do I think there’s any level of accountability that is owed. For any NBA team, when you think about a coach and replacing that coach, you have to consider what coaches are available. That’s just in general. I don’t feel it necessary to defend Brett to anyone. I think his work speaks for itself.”

Amir Johnson

  • Feels like the Sixers put together a great team despite multiple trades in the season.
  • Doesn’t know what the future holds, isn’t sure about coaching. Seems like he wants to explore different areas and find out what’s next for him in his career.
  • He rewatched game seven and felt like there were a lot of possessions the Sixers could have been better with.
  • Just turned 32 and says he feels great. Feels like he has a lot to give, says he’ll keep playing until “nobody wants me and they kick me out.”
  • Team needs to be more motivated and more hungry and get better to get themselves over the hump next season.

Furkan Korkmaz

  • The summer is going to be like “real free agency” for him. Says in Turkey he was under contract. Feels like next year is going to be an important year for him. “I know I’ll get an opportunity but I don’t know where I’ll end.”
  • He learned how to be a professional in Philadelphia.
  • It was a hard season for him, lots of players in and out, the contract being declined.
  • He was 175 pounds when he got to Philly, now he’s up to 218. Needs to take his body fat down and needs to be a more consistent shooter on the floor. “I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing, try to get better in every part of the game and I’ll be fine.”

Jimmy Butler

  • Hasn’t thought too much about free agency, wants to take care of the people in his circle and make sure everyone is good.
  • Free agent checklist: winning, coaches, the city, “there’s a lot that goes into it”
  • Says some of his people don’t have their families in Philadelphia with them.
  • On playing for Brett Brown: “it was constantly growing, that’s for sure, had a slight conversation downstairs and he realized I’m a different human being, can be difficult at times, but I swear it’s from a good place.” Says Brown has a huge heart, is a great dude, and works incredibly hard.
  • On the evolution of his role in the offense: “as the year went on I got more comfortable with how I was being utilized.. I got used to everything, wanted to know what was going on at all times.. I got comfortable at the end and knew what my jobs was.”
  • on money and a max contract: “Hopefully I’d get a max contract anywhere I’d choose to go. I think I have more than enough money now.”
  • Had a great group of guys that enjoyed playing with each other. “To think this roster may not be the exact same, that’s what really hurts.”

Joel Embiid

  • Will work harder and be a better player than he was this year. Excited about the work he’s going to put in. “I still have a lot of potential, I feel like a lot of people haven’t seen what I can really do.”
  • Brett Brown: Says he was off social media but heard about rumors and thought it was “bullshit,” says Brett has done a fantastic job. Thinks he grew this year as a coach. Says it comes down to players at the end of the day. “I don’t think he should have anything to worry about… obviously I’ve got a lot of love for him.”
  • Needs to keep working on his body. He’s open to a new approach, whether that’s not playing in back to backs or doing more management from the beginning of the season. He says he feels bad about missing games because he lets the team down.
  • Ben Simmons is his brother and feels like he can still grow together with him. “We want him to be aggressive all the time.. we want him to push the ball and be aggressive all the time. Aggressive Ben is the best Ben.”
  • Important to retain Jimmy long term, “that’s the type of guy you want by your side.”
  • On Butler and Harris: “they know what they should do.. they know how I feel about them.”
  • Toronto was successful at getting the ball out of his hands, “I gotta find better ways to create for myself and my teammates, that includes setting picks, rolling more, popping, two-man game, stuff like that, find ways to be better used if they’re gonna guard me the way they did. I just can’t be a post player, I have to be more.”
  • On his criticism: “I don’t care, it only makes me better, I’m fine with taking all the blame. I can’t control being sick at the wrong time, but I still try to do my job no matter how bad I’m feeling.”
  • He likes when people talk shit because he can “see it all, I love when people tell me I can’t do something because I’m gonna go back and work hard and get it right.. I’m excited, it’s a tough ending to the season but I feel like everybody did their job and we played hard, we’ll be back here.”

Jonah Bolden

  • (I missed the first part, sorry)
  • Sees himself as a stretch four/five with the ability to shoot the ball
  • Wants to be in better physical shape and add to that

Greg Monroe

  • Adjustments are made in a series and you have to be on board with everything that’s decided. Everybody wants to play better, I don’t think anybody would say they were satisfied with how they played.
  • Some young stars here, they’ll be competing in this conference for a long time and it’s about keeping their head up and continuing on the pace they’re taking. Can learn from the experience and use it as motivation.
  • On Joel Embiid’s potential: “potentially he can go down as one of the best centers to play this game, he has that amount of talent”

James Ennis

  • enjoyed his time here, felt like team would have been better if he, Tobias, Boban, Mike Scott had spent more time with the team before the trade deadline
  • everything is great, it’s a “championship organization, coaching staff unbelievable, to the training staff”
  • Nothing discussed on his future, “but I love it here, I love Philly” (he has a player option)
  • Ben Simmons and Joel have a huge upside because they’re still young, “I can’t wait to see them in a few years.. built a really good relationship with Ben, hanging out outside of basketball”
  • Simmons convinced him to get the same breed of dog. He named his dog “Hustle,” after the late rapper Nipsey Hustle.
  • Says you don’t often see leaders like Simmons at that young of an age, but that he controls the offense and did a really good job this year with his team.
  • on Brett Brown: “great coach, he’s a player’s coach, he can really communicate with his players, good knowledge to learn from him, I think he’s gonna be here for a long time.”

Tobias Harris

  • it was a good experience working with Brett Brown, “great coach, did everything he could to really try to help this group come together in the best way possible with the time at hand”
  • hasn’t given free agency much thought
  • feels like he still has room to grow his game at age 26, going into his 9th season in the NBA
  • Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, two great guys who love the game and have a passion for the game, tons of talent and potential
  • what’s he looking for in free agency? only so many players have stability in the NBA, style of play is important to him, culture, a chance to be able to win
  • last night’s loss makes him want to get back to the playoffs and go further
  • he wouldn’t do anything different in the way he played or approached being a Sixer, “obviously coming over in the trade there are challenges presented, finding a balance and finding ways to contribute to a team”
  • offseason: he’ll take 3-4 weeks off, then train in New York and spend most days in the gym from 8 to 5

Boban Marjanovic

  • Boban started off his availability with a Nikolic Jokic joke while pulling on the microphone
  • really enjoyed stepping on the court and the practice floor in Philadelphia, team events, being with this franchise
  • it’s tough to think about his future, really enjoyed and loved Philadelphia
  • a lot of emotion in the locker room after the game seven loss, felt like a bad dream to him and says it was hard to sleep
  • Brett Brown is an “amazing coach,” nothing bad to say about him

Mike Scott

  • Told Brett Brown and Elton Brand he wouldn’t mind coming back
  • enjoyed playing in Brett Brown’s system, felt like the coach was down to Earth with him, didn’t sugarcoat anything with him
  • was able to relate to the grittiness and toughness of Philly fans, really loved being around them and interacting with them
  • felt like Philly was a jolt to his career and helped him get back on track
  • he left the podium by saying “I ain’t no bitch”

Ben Simmons

  • great relationship with Brett Brown, helped him got to where he is now, has a lot of love for coach Brown
  • wants to continue to work on everything this year, felt like he got better as a young leader this year
  • learned some things from Jimmy Butler when he was here
  • on jump shots: “it’s very important,” says repetition is gonna help him get to where he needs to be with that
  • says it’s more of a point of emphasis to be aggressive in general vs. taking jump shots or taking certain shots
  • have to start thinking about next year, will take a few days break and then get back into the gym
  • exit interviews start with medical staff, then Elton Brand, and the media
  • everybody shares blame for the series loss, “coach doesn’t have a jersey on”
  • has a lot of respect for Joel Embiid, works hard, plays hard, is a determined guy on the floor
  • on Jimmy and Tobias being free agents, wants to talk them, assumes Joel Embiid will be a part of it
  • plans to work with his brother again this summer

Zhaire Smith

  • start training in the next couple of weeks after seeing his family, will work on conditioning, weight room, then his skill set
  • believes he’s going to play in summer league and wants to play in summer league

T.J. McConnell

  • he showed up wearing a suit again, only guy on the team to wear a suit to exit interviews
  • discussions were “different from last year, obviously we have a lot of free agents on this team and there’s the feeling of unknown.. I don’t have an answer for you, but I would love to be here”
  • Brett Brown criticism is “totally unfair” to him. “The way he’s able to manage this team, not many people can do it, and he does it at a very high level.” 
  • Thought it was a brilliant move to bench him and give Butler the ball as a backup point guard
  • Ben’s facilitating ability but flexibility to move down to the four is what makes him great, “this league is all about versatility and I think that’s what makes Ben great”

 

 

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13 Comments

  • Never felt real May 13, 2019 at 11:04 am

    I never felt like this team would win. In my mind they overachieved. They have a ton of physical talent, but the mentality of the team always scared me. Joel seems like an attention seeking child and emotionally shallow. Weeping like a baby after the game is a little weird. Shedding a tear is understandable….blubbering like a baby?? Ben is as soft as they come. He is stilled scared to shoot beyond 3 feet. Didn’t give a damn in college and still looks like he doesn’t care most of the time. They both remind me of McNabb – just don’t fill out the sac completely.

    Turnovers, bad shot selection and getting beat physically was the problem in Boston last year. Nothing changed. Not sure Brett is the guy to lead this team.

    • Ron Bowman Sucks May 13, 2019 at 11:42 am

      Embiid made sure the cameras were rolling for the cry job.

    • Booooooooooo May 13, 2019 at 12:34 pm

      How ya gonna bitch about Simmons looking like he doesn’t care one sentence then Embiid for obviously caring in the other? I’m going to guess you listen to a lot of WIP mornings

      • Never felt real May 13, 2019 at 1:47 pm

        Where did you get confused?

        I said Joel seems like a child. I said Ben seems like he doesn’t care. And no – I don’t listen to sports talk. I travel every week.

        Slow down and read. Then, you may even start writing better.

        • Booooooooooo May 13, 2019 at 6:31 pm

          “Weeping like a baby after the game is a little weird. Shedding a tear is understandable….blubbering like a baby?? … Didn’t give a damn in college and still looks like he doesn’t care most of the time.”

          “He is stilled scared to shoot beyond 3 feet.”

          No, I read just fine. You are just an ignoramus.

          • Never felt real May 13, 2019 at 7:52 pm

            Sorry fan boy. Didn’t know it was personal for you. You keep rooting for your heroes and they will keep letting you down.

            You are right. Joel isn’t an attention seeking child and Ben really cares. You can see by his shooting improvement. Lol fan boy.

        • Booooooooooo May 13, 2019 at 8:20 pm

          Just pick something to troll on about? It doesn’t make sense when you’re whining like everybody else who travels a lot(?!) About Joel having emotions and Ben having none.

          • Never felt real May 14, 2019 at 3:55 am

            You seem to struggle. I will type slow for you.

            1. Joel appears to be an attention seeking child. His crying show was ridiculous and fake.

            2. Ben appears to be someone who cares very little and hasn’t improved at all. He still won’t shoot the ball and doesn’t care to get better.

            These are 2 separate thoughts. They do not contradict each other. Have a nice day. Strap your sneakers on and grab your helmet – the bus will be by soon.

            Your heroes are flawed. Not sure why that seems to set you off. Poor guy.

  • Donovan McNabb May 13, 2019 at 11:14 am

    I may have thrown up, but I never cried. Have another Shirley Temple cupcake.

    • Carson Wentz's Gimpy Knee....and Bad Back May 13, 2019 at 1:07 pm

      “thrown up” which did not happen in the Super Bowl despite the myth, and then ended the drive in which he “threw up” with a 33 yard strike to Gregg Lewis in the back of the end zone. to bring the team within three points of New England.

      Just trying to figure out how badly McNabb would have been crucified if he used “bubble guts” and basically a chest cold as excuses for playing like shit in playoff games and if he blubbered like a baby outside the locker room for all to see after the Super Bowl.

      • Yo Holmes, May 13, 2019 at 1:19 pm

        Why’d you add the extra G to Greg Lewis’s name? Cmon Bo.

  • wayne DRKATZ... jackowski May 13, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    3 shot clock violations, sixers constantly hanging around the 3 line,dont need 3’s,brown has to emphasize that if the play he called takes longertyhan 6 seconds than abort , embiid needed to be the paint not attempting 3,s or handling the ball out there also.Ben needs to man up and drive to the rim… an finish with a dunk!!! ala LB, his mentor, Brown has to push him …lead him to do so. defensively, sixers turn their backs an watch the ball instead of boxing out guys,”BAKA” WOULD OUT JUMP us being not guarded,plus sixers not agressively going for the ball, SIXER FAN 40 YRS.

  • God Do Dat May 13, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    Simmons was mildly offended by the question about jumpers…. crazy.

    Get him away from his MF brother and have him work with professional.

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