Morey, Rivers: 76ers can win with Embiid and Simmons
The Philadelphia 76ers introduced new president of basketball operations Daryl Morey on Monday, and the longtime NBA executive offered a ringing endorsement of team cornerstones Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
"The chance to work with Joel and Ben and the roster that (general manager Elton Brand) had put together, this is a roster that has championship aspirations and can win the championship," Morey said. "You can't ask for anything more."
Morey comes to Philadelphia after 13 years with the Houston Rockets, where he was known for a revolutionary approach to roster adaptability.
With real questions existing about whether Embiid can coexist with Simmons, Morey said he was confident they could - something new head coach Doc Rivers backed up.
"I have no doubt they can (win together)," Rivers said. "Again, I haven't been in the lab with them yet. But I know they can. I think we have to change the narrative - (it's) 'They haven't won yet,' not, 'They can't win.'"
Rivers and Morey worked together in the mid-2000s with the Boston Celtics.
Morey stressed that the Rockets' small-ball success under his watch - where the team regularly took 40-plus 3-point attempts a game - was tailored to that roster, and that Embiid will remain the focal point in Philly.
"The goal is not to shoot 3-pointers, the goal is to win. You can score on offense in a whole bunch of different ways," Morey said. "Joel just happens to be one of the most efficient post-up players in the league. I used to get the question in Houston, which was like, 'What would you do if you had (Shaquille O'Neal),' and my answer was I would give the ball to Shaq about 100 times a game."
Morey added: "We played the way we played in Houston because that was the best way to utilize the talents we had in Houston. Doc, I know, knows how to win - more than me, frankly."