What Joel Embiid Needs To Do To Win An NBA Championship, Per Doc Rivers

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack


Doc Rivers, who spent three seasons as head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, was fired after their embarrassing second-round playoff loss to the Boston Celtics. He is now replaced by former Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse.

The former Sixers head coach recently made an appearance on “The Bill Simmons Podcast” where he was given the chance to reflect on his time with the Sixers and break down a couple of topics concerning the team. Among these was Joel Embiid’s pursuit of an NBA championship.

Embiid enjoyed an incredible regular season under Rivers last season that saw him average 33.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game on 54.8% shooting from the field to win the 2023 NBA Most Valuable Player of the Year.

In their biggest game of the season however, Embiid completely disappeared and only managed 15 points, 8 rebounds and 1 assists on 27.7% shooting from the field that ultimately contributed to their playoff defeat.

Rivers was now asked on how Embiid can take the next step in order to win an NBA championship. Without mincing words, the 61-year old veteran head coach gave out two things that he sees beneficial for the Sixers big man. 

Per The Ringer:


“Number one, he has to be healthy,” Rivers said of Embiid. “In the playoffs and this was the healthiest, but he still wasn’t 100%. Then number two for Jo, is he’s got to make all his players better in the playoffs and Jo, his numbers are unfair. If you look at his numbers in the last three years in the playoffs compared to his regular season numbers, they’re not very good. But a lot of that is due [to injuries]. The first year I had him he hurts his knee. The next year, he hits his face and tears ligaments in his hand, and then this year he has a knee injury and he was never the same once he came back this year. So health is number one.

“Then the second thing is Jo, and he has the ability, I stayed on him daily. He has the ability to make his teammates better and when he does it, if you look at our games this year when he did that and dominated, [it’s] hard to go away from Joel Embiid. It really is. He’s just got to do that on a consistent basis. Not just on the court, but also off the court. Just be around the guys and spend time with your guys and let them know that you love them because they love you.”


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