Ben Simmons: 'I Genuinely Think' 76ers Win 2021 NBA Championship

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 16, 2021

Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) against the Golden State Warriors during an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, March 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons said he's confident in the team's chances of winning the 2021 NBA title.

"Win the championship. I genuinely believe that," Simmons told GQ's Tyler R. Tynes about the Sixers' expectations in an interview released Friday. "I feel like there's been years where guys would've said it on the Sixers, but I don't think we really believed it. But, I genuinely think this is the year."

He added: "I feel like we genuinely believe we are here to win a championship. That's the only reason we come in. That's why we wanna dominate games. We wanna be the best team."

Philadelphia has established itself among the upper echelon of contenders with a 38-17 record, which leads the Eastern Conference and ranks third in the NBA behind the Utah Jazz (41-14) and Phoenix Suns (40-15).

The 76ers benefit from their top two players, Simmons and center Joel Embiid, not only making a major impact offensively but also putting themselves into the Defensive Player of the Year conversation. Having that type of two-way impact from your top players has set a positive tone.

Simmons explained to Tynes it comes down to sacrificing individual numbers in favor of making plays that benefit the team:

"It's do whatever it takes. If we win a championship, that's our goal, nobody's worried about numbers. Nobody is worried about numbers. In past years guys have been worried about certain numbers and stats, things like that. But, if I'm able to make game-winning plays, diving on a loose ball, getting deflections, being where my teammates need me to be, I feel like that's how you win championships. If you are an individual and you are worried about stats? You are in the wrong place. And that tends to be teams that aren't doing that well."

The 24-year-old three-time All-Star noted it also helps to have a roster of players who get along away from the court.

"Everybody holding each other accountable. We have a group of guys that are willing to hang out with each other and be friends," Simmons said. "When you have guys who are willing to hang out outside of basketball, that's great. Everyone gets along. Our chemistry is great."

The Sixers will be tested over the next week with games against the Los Angeles Clippers and Suns along with a back-to-back set against the Milwaukee Bucks before the schedule gets more favorable for the stretch run of the regular season.

They're certainly trending in the right direction, and if they head into the playoffs healthy, anything less than a championship will qualify as a disappointment.