Daryl Morey was introduced as president of basketball operations for the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday and expressed his excitement to run a team that has Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons as the foundational pieces of the franchise.
"My goal is to win a championship, so whatever gets us there is what we'll do," Morey said during a virtual news conference officially announcing his hiring. "But I would say to have two star-plus players in 24 and 26 years old, that is why I couldn't get Doc Rivers to come interview in Houston.
"He saw this roster and he said, 'It's amazing,' and 'Sorry I couldn't fly to Houston to meet with you, Daryl.' And then, obviously, I end up here a couple weeks later. ... It was pretty cool."
Morey went out of his way to praise Embiid's potential in particular. Morey also clarified that his philosophy has been to chase stars more than small ball, which makes Embiid and Simmons compatible with him even if it will be Doc Rivers who decides upon a style.
"Well first I would say, how we play is going to be up to Doc," Morey said. "But that's one reason I'm very excited to be here is to work with a championship coach like Doc. I think -- and I think he agrees with me, he can jump in -- the best way to win in the NBA is to take your talent and figure out how to utilize them the best. Right? It's not to take your talent and hammer it into a particular system. It's to try to get the most out of who you have.
"It doesn't take much to look at when Joel is on the floor and healthy, and he's been in here twice a day for quite a while, he's very focused and motivated, this is an unbelievable defensive team. The fact that he's also an extremely good offensive player ... Joel is the kind of player you win championships with if you look back through NBA history. We were trying to build our best team around our talents in Houston, but here Doc is going to take the talent we have and use them to the best of our ability."
Morey and Rivers agree Embiid and Simmons can have their talents maximized together.
"I absolutely think they can work together," Morey said.
"I have no doubt they can," Rivers added. "Again, I haven't been in the lab with them yet, but I know they can.
"I think we have to change the narrative. They haven't won yet, not that they can't win. The 'can't' should be taken out. But there's a lot of combinations of players around the league that haven't won yet, and they're just two other ones. I'm really looking forward to the challenge."