Philadelphia Sixers

Joel Embiid hangs with Billie Jean King, who says 'Trust the Process'

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CSN

Joel Embiid hangs with Billie Jean King, who says 'Trust the Process'

Sixers fans, you've got a tennis legend on your side.

On Tuesday, Joel Embiid was just hanging out with Billie Jean King — who isn't he hanging out with these days? — at the Philadelphia Freedoms tennis competition.

King was asked if she trusts the process. And although the 39-time grand-slam winner didn't quite understand at first, she clearly supports the mantra of the Sixers' big man.

In a video shot by CSN's John Clark, King gave a hearty "Trust the Process" and then emphasized the importance of doing so in sports.

Embiid was a huge fan of King's message. And when an athlete such as King trusts the process, you know you're doing something right.

Mike Trout joins push in trying to lure LeBron James to Sixers

Mike Trout joins push in trying to lure LeBron James to Sixers

LeBron James to the Sixers. It would take a miracle, right?

Sure, but one MVP is in on the push for the four-time MVP landing in Philly.

Enter Mike Trout.

The Angels' star outfielder, a two-time AL MVP and native of Millville, New Jersey, took to Twitter on Thursday to make a quick pitch for the King. Trout, a well-known fan of Philadelphia sports teams, responded to a 94WIP tweet about reporter Howard Eskin shooting down the LeBron James chatter.

First, it was Ben Simmons tweeting James. That's really how all the buzz started and now the idea is taking on a mind of its own. Clearly, it's being talked about. And what Sixers fan wouldn't want a player like James putting "The Process" into hyperdrive?

And hey, once James comes to Philly, he can then return the favor: bringing Trout to the Phillies.

We can dream, right?

As a Sixers fan, could you actually say no to LeBron James?

As a Sixers fan, could you actually say no to LeBron James?

Admit it, you see that headline and you say to yourself, "Really?" A case needs to be made for the most dominant, all-around player the league has seen since M.J. A guy who will go down as a top-five player ever at worst, arguably one or two in the history of the game. You’re saying, "Here we go again," this is clearly click bait or someone who has lost their flipping mind. James Naismith wouldn’t even bother turning over in his grave when pondering this one.

I mean, this is LeBron James we are talking about here. Forget the individual numbers, which are staggering. The MVPs, All-Star appearances, etc. Never mind the fact that he would be only 33 years old in the summer of 2018, when he is eligible to be a free agent. Hell, he looked older in high school than he does now (minus that pesky hairline thing). Greek gods are envious of the guy’s body. You can even put aside his considerable acting chops in Trainwreck — maybe I went a click too far there. Try focusing on the team aspect for a minute. He has led his squad to the NBA Finals seven consecutive seasons, winning three.

So what’s the catch here? Why wouldn’t any Sixers fan in the name of Alexey Shved want LeBron James playing for their team?    

Let’s assume, for our purpose, he would want to come here. Big assumption. But let’s dream for a minute. The 2017-18 Sixers, first and foremost, remain upright. Injuries are not an issue.

Joel Embiid, while staying healthy, dominates on the floor like he does on social media.

Ben Simmons is, in fact, the visionary, ball-dominant, 6-foot-10 Magic Johnson Jr.

Markelle Fultz is the peanut butter to Simmons' chocolate.

Dario Saric continues to be the all-purpose, tough, steadying presence while improving his jumper.

JJ Redick provides that sniper this team hasn’t seen in decades.

And Brett Brown can flat out coach.

In other words, all things work out perfectly. Add to that the Sixers' deep pocketbooks and payroll flexibility despite the need to take care of said core players. Plus, James and Simmons share representation. The two have even been tweeting at each other the last few days, and LeBron even wished Simmons a happy birthday.

Voila. Seems like a match made in heaven, right?

Wrong. At least for some Sixers fans.

Let me preface this by saying I am a believer in “The Process.” Have been from the start. But there seems to be a faction of Sixers fans or “Processors” who are against bringing in an established superstar of the ilk of LeBron James. Is this a linear thing? A championship can be achieved only by those core drafted pieces, by the nucleus of Embiid, Simmons, Fultz and Saric? Would LeBron somehow sully the purity of those Lake Hinkotonka waters? Would Sam disapprove? Would his brilliant mind somehow spontaneously combust in a Starbucks in Palo Alto with the news of adding a such an expensive and established piece? Do we really know what Hinkie’s vision at this point would be? Wasn’t this a key part of "The Process?" Clear cap space, and when the time is right, spend money with the big boys. Not bad money. Not Timofey Mozgov, Joakim Noah or Chandler Parsons.

We’re talking LeBron Freakin' James here.   

Is there not a need for someone with his skill set? Is it a chemistry thing? Clearly, that can’t be it. James is a chameleon, able to play any of four positions if needed. And while he may not be 25-year-old peak LeBron, he will still be great for a couple of years. And he has clearly proven that he can blend with talent around him.

Is it as simple as just good old fashion LeBron hate for “The Decision” or his perceived whininess? Golden State added Kevin Durant to an established, championship winning core that proved it could win without him. And that group was able to put egos aside. I’m confident the Sixers' young nucleus could do the same.

Are we really in a position in this town  — of any sports cities — to put parameters on how we get to the mountain top? Who cares how you get there so long as you get one — and hopefully more?  

Not me.