Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid wants to be great in every aspect of the game. At times, the big man welcomes a one-on-one matchup down low so he can physically dominate his way to the basket. Other times, Embiid will camp out around the perimeter so he can flash his three-point shot.
The three-time All-Star can and will do it all, but oftentimes he receives criticism for not staying in the same position all the time. In previous seasons, former Sixers head coach Brett Brown caught a lot of heat for not getting Embiid to stay low and dominate near the basket even though the veteran center made it clear that's not his game.
Some might've hoped new Sixers head coach Doc Rivers could help change Embiid's ways, but the veteran leader made it very clear he won't limit the big man.
"I don't really care, I mean I'll let you guys like about shot selection and all that kind of stuff," Rivers told reporters on a Zoom conference call after practice on Monday. "I think Joel is a talented player -- I really do. He clearly will have the ball in the post a lot, but he also will have the ball behind the three, have the ball at the elbows. I've never gotten into shot selection like people do."
Throughout the first few weeks of training camp, many Sixers players have praised Rivers for his coaching style so far. On Monday, Rivers mentioned he never really cared about his players' shot selection -- and he doesn't plan to start now -- especially when it comes to Joel Embiid and the team's other star, Ben Simmons.
"My offenses have always been really good," Rivers explained. "If you ask my players, you rarely hear them tell you 'Man, he's really yelling at me about shot selection.' My job is to teach guys their shots. And once they learn their shots, each individual guy, then we play through that."
Does Embiid need to be more consistent offensively this upcoming season? Of course. Should he focus less on taking three-pointers and focus more on dominating low? Probably. But Rivers isn't going to force the issue.
At the end of the game, all that matters to the Sixers head coach is that Philly won the game. Embiid has proven he can do it all and help the 76ers win. So, Rivers doesn't want to limit the big man's game as he gears up for his fourth season playing in the NBA.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_