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#pounditWednesday, July 24, 2024

Joel Embiid doubles down on his shade for Celtics

Joel Embiid looks ahead

Apr 30, 2024; New York, New York, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) during overtime in game 5 of the first round of the 2024 NBA playoffs against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics were unable to clinch the NBA championship on Friday night, and few had to be happier about it than Joel Embiid.

The Philadelphia 76ers star Embiid was a guest analyst on the ESPN/ABC telecast of Game 4 of the Finals between the Celtics and Dallas Mavericks. Before the game, Embiid was asked if the Celtics were about to become a dynasty and responded with some shade.

“I don’t think so, not with the new CBA,” said Embiid. “And you also gotta understand the whole East was kinda hurt, myself included.”

Embiid may have a point about the new collective bargaining agreement, which is designed to make it difficult for teams to keep several star-level players together for an extended period. But most if not all of Boston’s key pieces are still under contract for multiple years, and the NBA’s new TV deal after the 2024-25 season should bring an influx of new cash into the league (thus resulting in a big boost to the salary cap as well).

To Embiid’s second point, the Celtics played the Miami Heat without Jimmy Butler in the first round, the Cleveland Cavaliers without Donovan Mitchell for several games during the second round, and the Indiana Pacers without Tyrese Haliburton for a few games in the conference finals. Meanwhile, the New York Knicks, Milwaukee Bucks, and Embiid’s 76ers were other East playoff teams hobbled by injuries that ultimately knocked them out early.

Embiid was vocal earlier this week on social media about his belief that the Celtics’ success this season was given rather than earned. In Friday’s TV appearance, Embiid decided to double down on that take.

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