Brett Brown was the only NBA head coach Joel Embiid ever played for up until this point. Ever since the Philadelphia 76ers drafted the big man back in 2014, Embiid formed a close bond with Brown, which was bound to get lost at some point as time went on.
Embiid and Brown never had a falling out -- but it was clear last season that Brown's days as the Sixers' head coach were numbered. Once the 76ers found themselves swept in the first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs, the Sixers moved on without Brown.
Now, Embiid is set to play under a new head coach for the first time in his NBA career with Doc Rivers, and the veteran center is excited to have a head coach with championship experience in charge.
“I’m excited about working for Coach Rivers," Embiid told Sixers reporter Brian Seltzer, earlier this week. "Coach Rivers has a great track record. I’m excited for him to come in and lead us and put us on the right track.”
In addition to the hiring of Doc Rivers, the Sixers also switched the front office up for the third time since Embiid was drafted years ago. When he came to the organization, Embiid was brought in by Sam Hinkie.
Then, the Sixers went through stints with Bryan Colangelo and Elton Brand in charge. Although Brand is still in the picture, former Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey has taken over as the President of Basketball Operations -- and Embiid couldn't be more excited.
“Daryl, I think he’s going to be great," Embiid said. "I’ve talked to him a lot. We like to talk about basketball, but you can relate with someone when you can just talk about life. You can just sit there [with him], you can talk about anything really. I feel like that’s where our connection has been and obviously about basketball, how we can improve the team and make it better."
Last season, Embiid was admittedly struggling with some of the big changes the Sixers have made over the last couple of years. At times, the three-time All-Star appeared to be disgruntled and in a funk. Although the 76ers made even more of a significant turnover again this offseason, it seems Embiid is much more satisfied with the organization's changes this year than in previous times.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_