Larry Brown: 'There's Nobody That Can Be Any More Dominant' Than Joel Embiid

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IIMay 12, 2020

CLEVELAND, OHIO - FEBRUARY 26: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts after an injury during the first half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on February 26, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Larry Brown and Joel Embiid didn't overlap in Philadelphia, but that didn't stop the former 76ers head coach from praising the All-Star center from afar.

"When I see Joel, I don't think anybody is better than him," Brown told the Sixers Talk podcast (h/t NBC Sports Philadelphia's Paul Hudrick). "He might get mad at me today, but he needs to get on the block, and he needs to block every shot and dominate on the post because he'll open it up for everybody else. And I don't think there's a better big man in the game than him."

Brown, who coached the 76ers from 1997 to 2003, continued: "My hope for him is that he would think about Kobe [Bryant] and Michael [Jordan] and watch The Last Dance and realize the gift that he has, and just spend all his time working on that craft because there's nobody that can be any more dominant than him."

Embiid was drafted by Philly third overall in 2014, but persisting foot injuries postponed his NBA debut until the 2016-17 campaign. He averaged a career-high 27.5 points and 13.6 rebounds last season. The 26-year-old leads the Sixers with 23.4 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game this season.

However, there has been speculation that Philadelphia won't be able to contend for a title with Embiid and 2016 top overall pick Ben Simmons paired together.

Both stars resisted that idea in February:

Keith Pompey @PompeyOnSixers

#Sixers Joel Embiid on people saying he and Ben Simmons can’t co-exist: https://t.co/KB3FeQSUcH

Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina

Ben Simmons on his dynamic with him and Joel Embiid https://t.co/YQZYuQjGea

The 76ers were one of the more mercurial teams in the league before the COVID-19 hiatus began March 11. Philadelphia's 29-2 home record was diluted by a 10-24 away record. At 39-26, the team sat in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.