Joel Embiid calls minutes restriction ‘f—ing bulls—‘
Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid told reporters on Monday that he was frustrated with the team’s decision to put him on a minutes restriction to start the season, and it appears he did not cool off at all after sleeping on it.
On Tuesday, Embiid was even more animated with reporters when asked about the restriction.
“That’s f—ing bulls—, I wish I was playing more minutes,” Embiid said, via Kyle Neubeck of Philly Voice. “I think I’m ready for more than, I don’t know whatever number they have. I don’t know, I wish I was playing more, but we’re going to see how it goes.”
Embiid was asked if he thinks he can get the Sixers’ brass to change their mind, and he didn’t rule it out.
“I always think I have a voice, so I’m sure they’re listening to what I have to say too, but they’re making a decision based on what they think,” he said. “But I think that’s bulls—.
“I think they’re talking about it right now. I think the number is going to be 16 [minutes] or something like that. I played about that in the preseason and I felt good, I played mostly in the first half and my body felt great. I still gotta get in game shape, but I think I’m ready for more.”
Embiid has a lengthy injury history, and the 76ers just signed him to a hefty contract extension. You can understand why he wants to play more, but it’s also easy to see why the team wants to protect its investment. Embiid averaged 25.4 minutes in 31 games last season, and he says he was hoping to be able to stick with that number at the start of this season.
“Yeah, they know that I’m frustrated, but once again you got to trust the doctors,” he added. “They care about me, it’s all about the long-term view. I don’t know anything about — although I learned a lot about my body the last couple years — I don’t really know all the science behind it all. So like I always say, you got to trust the process.”
While he was a lot more tame with his comments on Monday, Embiid has made his feelings perfectly clear.