Brett Brown avoided getting into specifics in regards to the 76ers’ plan to maintain Joel Embiid’s workload.
But one can only imagine the plan is something similar to what the Toronto Raptors implemented for Kawhi Leonard last season en route to winning the NBA title. The All-Star swingman missed 22 games in the regular season. Fourteen were for load management, six for a variety of injuries and two for personal reasons.
It was predetermined that he would not exceed 68 regular-season games. That plan benefited him and the Raptors. Leonard dominated the postseason, eventually winning his second NBA Finals MVP and second NBA title.
Embiid, who has an injury history, hasn’t always been supportive of the Sixers’ load-management approach.
“I think he’s growing up,” Brown said of Embiid buying-in after seeing others — including Leonard — have success with it.
But the 76ers coach also said that it is best for Embiid’s legacy.
“It’s not, ‘He is going to have a great year,’ ” Brown said. “Legacy is over time. His legacy is something that I desperately want to do my best to help him leave behind. That always means championship or championships, and multiple features on All-Star teams and maybe an MVP. All those types of things are done within a success team.”
And there’s no denying that the Sixers built a team this offseason successful enough to still excel on the nights Embiid rests. Free agent addition Al Horford will start at power forward. However, the five-time All-Star will slide over to center when Embiid doesn’t play.
Unlike Leonard, Embiid was far from in optimal health and shape at the conclusion of last season.