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#pounditSaturday, September 23, 2023

Joel Embiid not completely bought in with Sixers?

Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers look to be headed for another early playoff exit which will increase long-term questions about the franchise.

The Sixers fell behind 3-0 to the Boston Celtics after a 102-94 defeat Friday. Embiid made two key mistakes in the final two minutes on a turnover and a forced shot. Embiid’s future will be the subject of speculation, and ESPN’s Doris Burke added to that by suggesting that Embiid isn’t fully committed to Philadelphia.

“Joel has signaled to me in his comments on J.J. Redick’s podcast and then as this series has gone through the first couple of games his feelings about where the team is, and it’s hard to win when you don’t have your star completely bought in,” Burke said on ESPN Radio’s “Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin” on Thursday.

Embiid had said in a recent appearance on Redick’s “The Old Man & The Three” podcast that he was uncomfortable with the offense for large portions of the season.

“I won’t lie, during the season I was not myself,” Embiid said, via Noah Levick of NBC Sports Philadelphia. “I was not there. I just wasn’t comfortable. The offense wasn’t the same, basketball was not the same to me. The way things happened last summer, it was just so frustrating, so I was kind of mad at the whole world and I was just like, ‘Eh, whatever. I’m just coming to work and I’m going to do my best,’ but I wasn’t playing up to my standards.”

Embiid admitted that he feared getting swept after Friday’s loss.

Not all of this is on him. Ben Simmons is hurt, and both Tobias Harris and Al Horford have not contributed nearly enough to make up for that. Embiid’s 30 points per game do still lead the team as well.

Harris has said the Sixers had chemistry issues this season. Maybe Embiid was part of that. However, the Sixers have tried so much over the years without getting anywhere. Regardless of what Embiid has said about staying in Philadelphia, it may be best to start looking at alternatives after this latest playoff failure.


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