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Joel Embiid discusses his growth in leadership to help Sixers succeed

BOSTON–Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid has heard a lot of talk about his leadership or lack thereof. Many people have criticized him for not being a leader for his team, but as time has passed, those criticisms have turned into praise.

Embiid continues to be not only the best player on the floor on a consistent basis, but he also has taken strides as a leader. Pulling guys aside when the time calls for it and demanding more out of his teammates.

“I think when it comes to leadership, I don’t think that’s something that I really pushed to be,” said Embiid. “I remember having conversations with coach (Brett) Brown about what kind of leader I should be and what kind of leader I want to be. He offered me a couple examples. Obviously, he has a lot of history in the game of basketball. Obviously, being around the Spurs and Tim Duncan and how they used to go about their business. It took me a while to kind of figure out how I wanted to lead.”

Slowly, but surely, Embiid has shown growth in the leadership area of his game. The Sixers are looking to him and he has approached each of his teammates differently as he begins to study their tendencies.

“Obviously, everybody’s different,” he continued. “I’m not normally the guy to go out and yell at people or be all hype or all that stuff. That’s just not my personality, but the way I can do it is by pushing my teammates in a positive way and sometimes in a negative way just to get a reaction out of them. It’s all about studying. Some guys, you want to be as positive as possible and some guys, you know you can be a little bit negative and they’re gonna take it and want to be better.”

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It’s also no secret that Embiid isn’t a guy who wants to go out all the time. That’s not his way of doing things, but his teammates have grown to accept that leadership style from him.

“I think over the years, I just find a way to kind of relate more with my teammates,” the MVP added. “Obviously, I don’t do anything outside of basketball whether it’s going out or going to dinner, I just hate restaurants and stuff so that’s not me. Sometimes, I do it, but I think the guys around me, they have been extremely helpful. They’re allowing me to just be myself and then also just take me as I am and that’s been great.”

Embiid has given talks to Tyrese Maxey, James Harden, and others in order to push them to be better. He understands that he can’t win without their help.

“Tyrese is a guy that I would probably put in the position of just understanding me and understanding that if I’m gonna criticize him, it’s probably because I want him to be better,” he finished. “Some other guys in the past, I don’t know, they might’ve taken that criticism as ‘Oh, he’s mad or something. He has a problem with me’, but that’s not me. I wanna win and I can’t win alone and I need all of them and they do understand it. That’s why I think this team is different and special.”

Embiid has obviously taken the necessary strides in order to lead the Sixers to success. His growth on and off the court has been terrific and because of that growth, Philadelphia has its best chance to win its first title since 1983.

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Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire