Joel Embiid responds to criticism from Hakeem Olajuwon
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid isn’t interested in hearing advice or criticism from the NBA’s greats. That includes Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon.
Olajuwon told Sports Illustrated’s Chris Ballard earlier this week that he loves Embiid’s game but doesn’t understand his hesitancy in the paint. He questioned why the 7-foot, 280-pound Embiid is more apt to settle for a three-point shot over taking his chances inside.
“He’s got all the moves, but leveraging the moves is different. Why would he be shooting threes?” Olajuwon questioned. “He has the advantage every night, and if I have the advantage, I’m going to wear you out.”
Olajuwon feels that launching up three-pointers is settling and gives away the advantage.
“That’s settling! When I’m tired, I settle. You don’t settle when you’re trying to win. You don’t start the game settling!”
Embiid took exception to Olajuwon’s criticism and went as far as to question his basketball IQ. Legend or not, Embiid feels the previous generation of player is out of touch with the current reality.
“From the time that (Doc Rivers) got there, the first thing he told me was that I need to figure out where I want the ball. Obviously, before, it was in the post, but like I mentioned in the past, posting up and posting all game long is easy to double,” Embiid said, via The Athletic’s Rich Hofmann. “It’s funny when you’ve got these old guys always talking about posting up, ‘You need to spend time in the paint,’ and all that stuff. You can’t win this way anymore. It’s not the fricking ’90s or ’80s like it used to be. So, they must not have any basketball IQ.”
The game of basketball has evolved and Embiid’s style change has paid off. He won the NBA’s scoring title last year and is second only to Luka Doncic for that honor this season.