The 76ers seem all but assured of having to find a new coach soon, but their future beyond that remains very much cloudy.
That includes center Joel Embiid, the face of “The Process,” which is still searching for real postseason results after the 76ers suffered a first-round sweep Sunday at the hands of the Celtics.
“I don’t make the decisions. I’m here in Philly. Whatever happens, happens,” Embiid told reporters in response to a question about the franchise’s uncertainty, per ESPN. “I’ve always said that I want to end my career here, and if it happens, good. If it doesn’t happen, well, you move on and all that stuff.”
At the very least, it appears the 76ers will be moving on without Brett Brown, who has been the coach since 2013.
The 26-year-old Embiid, meanwhile, is under contract through 2023, but throughout his six years in the organization, he has seen plenty of faces come and go. The 76ers’ most recent additions — signing Al Horford and Tobias Harris last offseason — still weren’t enough to get them over the playoff hump, though they had to battle the Celtics without Ben Simmons, who left the bubble to undergo knee surgery.
“I just feel like, a couple years ago, when we made the playoffs for the first time, we had a bunch of great players that were drafted here or either formed in Philly and we had a bunch of guys especially that were in a great situation,” Embiid said.
“And then we, as you know, we decided to trade a lot of it with the picks and stuff for Jimmy [Butler], Tobias [Harris], and we got a bunch of great players in return. Like I said, it just didn’t happen. We could never find a rhythm this year. It is disappointing. There’s a lot of regrets. I felt like the focus was not always there. And we got to do better; we just got to look at ourselves in the mirror and just do better.”
Embiid averaged 30 points and 12.3 rebounds per game against the Celtics, but knows his role in the 76ers’ offense, with all the pieces they have, might mean taking him away from the basket at times.
“I can be dominant down low, but then again, to help the team, it’s not always about me,” Embiid said. “And with the roster we have and — if it is the same roster next year — I gotta be able to space the floor.”