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The Problem with the Sixers (Identity/Leadership Void)

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The Problem with the Sixers (Identity/Leadership Void) 

Post#1 » by Ferry Avenue » Sat Dec 21, 2019 4:47 pm

An identity is something that creates predictable behavior. Based on your identity -- in other words who you are -- I can make an educated guess about how you will more or less behave.

Teams have identities as well. Prior to this season the Sixers' identity was determined by veteran leaders like JJ Redick, Jimmy Butler, Marco Belinelli, and Ersan Ilysaova. The 2017-2018 team was mediocre until the veterans Belinelli and Ilyasova arrived, and after they assimilated, the team took off and won its final 16 straight. The 2018-2019 team was led by the veterans Redick and Butler. Those teams had identities -- they knew what to expect from themselves on any given night, and we knew what to expect from them as well. Now those players are gone.

For the team to function like it has in the past, leaders must emerge who create the team's identity and enable it to perform in a stable and predictable manner. If those leaders don't emerge, the team has no identity, and there will be significant inconsistency in its performance from one night to the next, one week to the next, and sometimes even one quarter to the next.

That's where we are at present.

The struggle right now is that the primary candidates for team leadership, based on their abilities, are Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Al Horford, and Tobias Harris. I suspect that what's happening is that Horford and Harris are yielding leadership roles to Embiid and Simmons because the team brass has made it clear, via personnel and contract decisions, that the team is being built around them.

So essentially the team is in a position in which relatively young players, Embiid and Simmons, who haven't assumed leadership roles in the past, have been thrust into leadership positions.

The problem is that Embiid and Simmons perform in an inconsistent manner, and so it's impossible for them to generate an identity for the team.

So here we are, with a team that flounders because it has no rudder, no stability, no identity. Consequently its performance varies widely.

I suspect that the next 20 or so games will serve as a hump the team will either get over, via the improvement in Embiid and Simmons's consistency, their emergence as leaders, and the development of a team identity.

Or these 20 games will serve as a hump the team won't get over, and it will then implode.
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Re: The Problem with the Sixers (Identity/Leadership Void) 

Post#2 » by BullyKing » Sat Dec 21, 2019 4:51 pm

I hope you don't mind but I edited the title so that interested posters will see how the issue you are raising is different than the general "Problem with the Sixers" to avoid this being another Brett and Ben sucks thread.
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the plan is to get as good as quickly as possible....I fully believe we could have been a borderline playoff team last year by adding young veterans....using or draft picks and cap space.....can I specifically tell you who? no.
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Re: The Problem with the Sixers (Identity/Leadership Void) 

Post#3 » by BullyKing » Sat Dec 21, 2019 4:54 pm

To me, this is one of the issues with the constant reshuffling of the team. First it was Joel's team. Then it was Joel and Ben's team. Then it became Jimmy's team. Now, I don't even know anymore.

I think the ideal situation is that it remains Joel and Ben's team but that Horford and Harris serve as mentors as to how to lead by setting an example of bringing it with consistency night in and night out. But its hard to know the behind the scenes dynamics.
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the plan is to get as good as quickly as possible....I fully believe we could have been a borderline playoff team last year by adding young veterans....using or draft picks and cap space.....can I specifically tell you who? no.
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Re: The Problem with the Sixers (Identity/Leadership Void) 

Post#4 » by Ferry Avenue » Sat Dec 21, 2019 5:00 pm

BullyKing wrote:To me, this is one of the issues with the constant reshuffling of the team. First it was Joel's team. Then it was Joel and Ben's team. Then it became Jimmy's team. Now, I don't even know anymore.

I think the ideal situation is that it remains Joel and Ben's team but that Horford and Harris serve as mentors as to how to lead by setting an example of bringing it with consistency night in and night out. But its hard to know the behind the scenes dynamics.

It might've been Joel's team back then in the way the Miami Dolphins were Dan Marino's team in 1983 -- he was obviously an all-world talent, as is Embiid, but in his early years he was surrounded by perennial Pro Bowlers like Dwight Stephenson and Ed Newman.

Embiid, until now, has been surrounded by such players. I think it's clear at this point that the team's fortunes now ride on the performances of Embiid and Simmons, whereas in years past that wasn't the case. In years past it was more of a total team effort (2017-2018), or the team was carried leadership-wise by Butler and Redick (2018-2019).

Now Embiid and Simmons have to carry the team, which makes them the leaders by default. And again I'm not sure they can display the consistency in their performance, the mentality, or the maturity to be effective team leaders. They certainly aren't doing it at present.
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Re: The Problem with the Sixers (Identity/Leadership Void) 

Post#5 » by BullyKing » Sat Dec 21, 2019 5:03 pm

Ferry Avenue wrote:
BullyKing wrote:To me, this is one of the issues with the constant reshuffling of the team. First it was Joel's team. Then it was Joel and Ben's team. Then it became Jimmy's team. Now, I don't even know anymore.

I think the ideal situation is that it remains Joel and Ben's team but that Horford and Harris serve as mentors as to how to lead by setting an example of bringing it with consistency night in and night out. But its hard to know the behind the scenes dynamics.

It might've been Joel's team back then in the way the Miami Dolphins were Dan Marino's team in 1983 -- he was obviously an all-world talent, as is Embiid, but in his early years he was surrounded by perennial Pro Bowlers like Dwight Stephenson and Ed Newman.

Embiid, until now, has been surrounded by such players. I think it's clear at this point that the team's fortunes now ride on the performances of Embiid and Simmons, whereas in years past that wasn't the case. In years past it was more of a total team effort (2017-2018), or the team was carried leadership-wise by Butler and Redick (2018-2019).

Now Embiid and Simmons have to carry the team, which makes them the leaders by default. And again I'm not sure they can display the consistency in their performance, the mentality, or the maturity to be effective team leaders. They certainly aren't doing it at present.


I actually disagree. Embiid and Simmons have to carry the team to a lesser extent now. Richardson, Harris, and Horford are all legitimate options. Even last year, the team was HORRIBLE whenever Embiid was out of the game. I think the team is much more deep than it has been at any time in the recent past. IMO, what they are struggling with now is figuring out how to integrate together so its more cohesive than just taking turns with post-up/ISO opportunities.
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the plan is to get as good as quickly as possible....I fully believe we could have been a borderline playoff team last year by adding young veterans....using or draft picks and cap space.....can I specifically tell you who? no.
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Re: The Problem with the Sixers (Identity/Leadership Void) 

Post#6 » by Sixerscan » Sat Dec 21, 2019 5:17 pm

BullyKing wrote:
Ferry Avenue wrote:
BullyKing wrote:To me, this is one of the issues with the constant reshuffling of the team. First it was Joel's team. Then it was Joel and Ben's team. Then it became Jimmy's team. Now, I don't even know anymore.

I think the ideal situation is that it remains Joel and Ben's team but that Horford and Harris serve as mentors as to how to lead by setting an example of bringing it with consistency night in and night out. But its hard to know the behind the scenes dynamics.

It might've been Joel's team back then in the way the Miami Dolphins were Dan Marino's team in 1983 -- he was obviously an all-world talent, as is Embiid, but in his early years he was surrounded by perennial Pro Bowlers like Dwight Stephenson and Ed Newman.

Embiid, until now, has been surrounded by such players. I think it's clear at this point that the team's fortunes now ride on the performances of Embiid and Simmons, whereas in years past that wasn't the case. In years past it was more of a total team effort (2017-2018), or the team was carried leadership-wise by Butler and Redick (2018-2019).

Now Embiid and Simmons have to carry the team, which makes them the leaders by default. And again I'm not sure they can display the consistency in their performance, the mentality, or the maturity to be effective team leaders. They certainly aren't doing it at present.


I actually disagree. Embiid and Simmons have to carry the team to a lesser extent now. Richardson, Harris, and Horford are all legitimate options. Even last year, the team was HORRIBLE whenever Embiid was out of the game. I think the team is much more deep than it has been at any time in the recent past. IMO, what they are struggling with now is figuring out how to integrate together so its more cohesive than just taking turns with post-up/ISO opportunities.


Yeah the take is sort of recency biased with how bad Harris, Richardson and especially Horford have been lately. It was only a few weeks ago when those guys were all playing well and they probably should have won a game in Toronto that Embiid literally didn't score a point in. Harris has had a bad week and Richardson and Horford haven't looked the same since returning from their injuries.

I agree with his general point, that the inconsistency of Embiid and Simmons drives the inconsistency of the team as a whole. But right now it's being exacerbated by the other players that you expect to be more consistent playing poorly.

I can't really speak to leadership, but I am not sure how those three are necessarily any worse leaders, teammates etc. than Redick or Butler. If anything I would assume Horford would be the best of the bunch given his reputation and that he has more experience and playoff success than either of them.
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Re: The Problem with the Sixers (Identity/Leadership Void) 

Post#7 » by Kobblehead » Sat Dec 21, 2019 5:24 pm

The problem with the Sixers is that they operated on the assumption that Embiid and Simmons were on equal footing (like Shaq and Kobe) and thought it was a good idea to incorporate what fits with Ben into their personnel decisions instead of building solely around Embiid.

Now we're stuck with two horrendous contracts that don't fit whatsoever with Joel Embiid in Simmons and Horford. I wouldn't be surprised if Joel asks for a trade real soon.
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Re: The Problem with the Sixers (Identity/Leadership Void) 

Post#8 » by 76ciology » Sat Dec 21, 2019 5:24 pm

The problem with the Sixers.
Embiid is not that good.
Ben is way not good.
Worse is, both don’t compliment one another.

But those with analytics will say stats say other wise. Then Ben will say he’s an allstar

Try to separate dreams from reality

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Re: The Problem with the Sixers (Identity/Leadership Void) 

Post#9 » by BullyKing » Sat Dec 21, 2019 5:28 pm

Kobblehead wrote:The problem with the Sixers is that they operated on the assumption that Embiid and Simmons were on equal footing (like Shaq and Kobe) and thought it was a good idea to incorporate what fits with Ben into their personnel decisions instead of building solely around Embiid.

Now we're stuck with two horrendous contracts that don't fit whatsoever with Joel Embiid in Simmons and Horford. I wouldn't be surprised if Joel asks for a trade real soon.


76ciology wrote:The problem with the Sixers.
Embiid is not that good.
Ben is way not good.
Worse is, both don’t compliment one another.

But those with analytics will say stats say other wise. Then Ben will say he’s an allstar

Try to separate dreams from reality

-76cio allan poe


Please stop derailing every thread. This is about leadership and identity.
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the plan is to get as good as quickly as possible....I fully believe we could have been a borderline playoff team last year by adding young veterans....using or draft picks and cap space.....can I specifically tell you who? no.
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Re: The Problem with the Sixers (Identity/Leadership Void) 

Post#10 » by Kobblehead » Sat Dec 21, 2019 5:38 pm

BullyKing wrote:Please stop derailing every thread. This is about leadership and identity.


My post is talking about why we're having identity issues (personnel decisions lacking in unity, dueling agendas), so I'm not derailing anything.
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Re: The Problem with the Sixers (Identity/Leadership Void) 

Post#11 » by BullyKing » Sat Dec 21, 2019 5:41 pm

Kobblehead wrote:
BullyKing wrote:Please stop derailing every thread. This is about leadership and identity.


My post is talking about why we're having identity issues (personnel decisions lacking in unity, dueling agendas), so I'm not derailing anything.


Fair enough
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the plan is to get as good as quickly as possible....I fully believe we could have been a borderline playoff team last year by adding young veterans....using or draft picks and cap space.....can I specifically tell you who? no.
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Re: The Problem with the Sixers (Identity/Leadership Void) 

Post#12 » by Ferry Avenue » Sat Dec 21, 2019 6:36 pm

Sixerscan wrote:Yeah the take is sort of recency biased with how bad Harris, Richardson and especially Horford have been lately. It was only a few weeks ago when those guys were all playing well and they probably should have won a game in Toronto that Embiid literally didn't score a point in. Harris has had a bad week and Richardson and Horford haven't looked the same since returning from their injuries.

I agree with his general point, that the inconsistency of Embiid and Simmons drives the inconsistency of the team as a whole. But right now it's being exacerbated by the other players that you expect to be more consistent playing poorly.

I can't really speak to leadership, but I am not sure how those three are necessarily any worse leaders, teammates etc. than Redick or Butler. If anything I would assume Horford would be the best of the bunch given his reputation and that he has more experience and playoff success than either of them.

Regarding the underlined portion above, the difference now is that the team brass, by virtue of its personnel/contract decisions has identified Embiid and Simmons as the players responsible for making the team win, which makes those players the team leaders by default. The problem is that they -- especially Simmons -- don't show the consistency, mentality, or maturity to assume those roles.
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Re: The Problem with the Sixers (Identity/Leadership Void) 

Post#13 » by Bum Adebayo » Sat Dec 21, 2019 7:32 pm

Leadership starts with the coach, so fire Brett and it will improve!
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Re: The Problem with the Sixers (Identity/Leadership Void) 

Post#14 » by phillynative » Sat Dec 21, 2019 7:55 pm

The combination of reddick, butler and TJ seemed like far better leaders than the combo of AL and Tobi. AL is quite the professional but just seems to go about his business he is also not a great fit in the starting five.
Im not sure how the locker room looks but I dont see many fire up and gather up guys and lead the troop type of players on this team. Tobi and Jrich are good players but are they leaders ? I wouldnt be surprised if they didnt want to ruffle anyones feathers..

Ben and Embiid currently seem too immature as leaders . Embiid mopes when things dont go his way . Ben is unwilling to make changes to his game for the team. I wouldnt be surprised if our two best players are hurting the morale of this team all together.

For the most part I see a lack of leadership from the coach right down to the our point guard (PF).
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Re: The Problem with the Sixers (Identity/Leadership Void) 

Post#15 » by Ferry Avenue » Sat Dec 21, 2019 8:17 pm

phillynative wrote:The combination of reddick, butler and TJ seemed like far better leaders than the combo of AL and Tobi. AL is quite the professional but just seems to go about his business he is also not a great fit in the starting five.
Im not sure how the locker room looks but I dont see many fire up and gather up guys and lead the troop type of players on this team. Tobi and Jrich are good players but are they leaders ? I wouldnt be surprised if they didnt want to ruffle anyones feathers..

Ben and Embiid currently seem too immature as leaders . Embiid mopes when things dont go his way . Ben is unwilling to make changes to his game for the team. I wouldnt be surprised if our two best players are hurting the morale of this team all together.

For the most part I see a lack of leadership from the coach right down to the our point guard (PF).

Redick, Butler, and McConnell seemed to me to be the heart and soul of last year's team, so now what we're possibly looking at is a team with little or no heart and soul.
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Re: The Problem with the Sixers (Identity/Leadership Void) 

Post#16 » by 76ciology » Sat Dec 21, 2019 8:32 pm

Embiid didnt develop leadership because he was babied after BC was fired. Biid has immaturity problems ever since college and this is still evident until now. While Ben doesnt have that leadership in his DNA.

Regarding identity, its because I believe deep inside the guys aren’t in line with how the team wants to play.

The leaders and the followers should share the same belief. Try to read Simon Sinek’s book “start with why”.
You think Ben wants to play post heavy offense that Biid wants to play?
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Re: The Problem with the Sixers (Identity/Leadership Void) 

Post#17 » by DaSixers » Sat Dec 21, 2019 8:45 pm

All I know is, this thing id about to go real bad and quick

If we lose tonight, I could see it happening now

Tbh Im rdy for this to blow up because this year is gona end the same way the previous 2 years did, except we have 0 flexibility now without completely restarting
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Re: The Problem with the Sixers (Identity/Leadership Void) 

Post#18 » by phillynative » Sat Dec 21, 2019 9:19 pm

76ciology wrote:Embiid didnt develop leadership because he was babied after BC was fired. Biid has immaturity problems ever since college and this is still evident until now. While Ben doesnt have that leadership in his DNA.

Regarding identity, its because I believe deep inside the guys aren’t in line with how the team wants to play.

The leaders and the followers should share the same belief. Try to read Simon Sinek’s book “start with why”.
You think Ben wants to play post heavy offense that Biid wants to play?


How so? @ in bold
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Re: The Problem with the Sixers (Identity/Leadership Void) 

Post#19 » by mjkvol » Sat Dec 21, 2019 10:14 pm

The identity can only emerge if a coherent plan is in place and executed, but the bigger problem is the awful fit of this group. The parts just don't work as they are now, and would require Simmons radically changing his game, which is clearly not going to happen.

Regarding leadership, the contracts of Harris and Horford give them just as big a stake in this as Simmons and Embiid, as these four are going to be here for the next few years together barring a blowup. The problem is that neither is the Jimmy Butler type of get in your face leader that this group is crying out for. One or both of them need to step into that role, and Brown should be encouraging that in a big way.
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Re: The Problem with the Sixers (Identity/Leadership Void) 

Post#20 » by LewisnotMiller » Sat Dec 21, 2019 11:22 pm

phillynative wrote:The combination of reddick, butler and TJ seemed like far better leaders than the combo of AL and Tobi. AL is quite the professional but just seems to go about his business he is also not a great fit in the starting five.


Celts fan here in peace. That was basically the general take on Al in Boston.
Super professional, glue guy on court.

But our locker room went bad, and he wasn't the type to drag it into shape. He's more 'lead by example' and seems to think others will do their job.

Not suggesting your locker room is the basket case ours was, just commenting on his leadership.

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