Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown gathered his team on Friday afternoon before practicing at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He said he talked “very quickly” about Thursday’s preseason loss to Boston before moving on “to the most important thing.”
He told the players they needed to find a way to reach out – on their own terms – to Joel Embiid. Brown told the team that “their friend, their teammate” had been through an “incredible, personal tragedy.”
The rookie center left the team on Thursday after learning that his 13-year-old brother, Arthur, had died in Cameroon. Arn Tellem, Embiid’s agent, said Embiid’s brother died in a car accident.
“The motive is to just do the right thing,” said Brown. “It’s just trying to help him in a terrible time. To see a young man have to go through that and to be with him while he’s going through that initial news, there are no words that you can choose to describe that.”
Brown too missed Thursday’s game as he sat with general manager Sam Hinkie at Embiid’s apartment to help the rookie cope. The coach said the 20-year-old Embiid and his younger sister, LoLo, flew to Cameroon on Friday to be with their parents.
Embiid’s sister, a freshman volleyball player at Rochester College in Michigan, flew into Philadelphia on Thursday night.
The Sixers resume their preseason schedule tonight. Embiid, selected third overall in June’s draft, has been sidelined since having right-foot surgery. He is expected to miss the majority of the season.
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