The Philadelphia 76ers are off to a 2-2 start in the early days of the 2021-22 season. The actual basketball has been lost in the shuffle thanks to Ben Simmons, but they are, in fact, playing games. Were it not for Simmons, attention would turn to Andre Drummond's role as backup center, because Drummond is a magnet for criticism and general intrigue.
It was a bit of a confusing signing in free agency. Embiid needs somebody to spell him more often than other big men and he's a walking injury risk, so depth down low will be paramount for Philly for as long as Embiid is their superstar. Drummond can certainly eat up minutes and rebound the ball, but his brief stint with the Lakers proved not even LeBron James can fix his worst habits.
So far in Philadelphia, Drummond has more or less stuck to his role, averaging five points and 12 rebounds in 17 minutes per game while only attempting four shots per contest. His defense remains suspect but for what the Sixers are paying him, he is delivering. An added bonus came in the form of the best superhero analogy of the year earlier this week, when Drummond proclaimed he was Alfred to Embiid's Batman.
“The dynamic has been great,” said Drummond on Tuesday. “When Batman is out doing his stuff, he needs an Alfred. When Batman’s out there stopping crime, Alfred’s out there overseeing making sure everything is good. Whatever he needs, I’m there with the quickness. I think that’s a good analogy.
These kinds of metaphors have taken the NBA by storm over the last eight or so months and Drummond just outdid them all. Proud to be Embiid's butler. I love it.
There is no clearer sign that Drummond has accepted the role he's to play with Philadelphia. He cannot be Robin because he can't be on the court at the same time as Embiid. That is inviting disaster. So Drummond just watches over things while Batman is taking a break to ensure nothing goes to hell and everything is shipshape.
No chemistry issues in Philly (as far as it pertains to Drummond)!