Joel Embiid admitted it was nice to put aside the Philadelphia 76ers’ off-field dramas as they won their opening game of the new NBA season 117-97 over the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday.
The future of Ben Simmons has been the hot topic at the 76ers all off-season, with Embiid admitting earlier this week he would not “baby-sit” the point guard amid the drama.
Simmons had a disastrous 2020-21 playoffs as the 76ers missed out on making the NBA Finals, despite finishing with an Eastern Conference-best 49-23 record.
Embiid had 22 points with six rebounds and five assists for the 76ers, while Furkman Korkmaz also contributed 22 oints, with Tobias Harris having 20 points and 12 rebounds.
“It was good to kind of get off to a good start, get a win and kind of forget about the off-the-court stuff,” Embiid said.
“That (spirit is) how we’ve been this whole summer. That’s the attitude everybody has had. That’s the definition of us.
“Being together, having fun together, doing stuff with each other. I think it goes a long way.
“It’s good to just go out and kinda not talk about basketball and talk about life. That’s also an evolution for me, because usually, when I used to go on the road, I’d just like to stay in my room and be on the phone and play video games.”
The Utah Jazz got past the Oklahoma City Thunder 107-86 with Rudy Gobert having 21 rebounds along with his 16 points, while the New York Knicks beat the Boston Celtics 138-134 in an epic over-time clash.