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#pounditWednesday, August 17, 2022

Joel Embiid

Fans take issue with the way Joel Embiid prefers his steak

Joel Embiid holds a ball

Joel Embiid is a frontrunner for NBA MVP this season, but one particular practice of his should probably disqualify him from the race altogether.

Fans were horrified this week to learn of the way that the Philadelphia 76ers star prefers his steak cooked. In a feature on Embiid by The Athletic, Sixers teammate Tobias Harris revealed that Embiid likes his steak … burnt.

“He likes his steak burnt, which is like super disrespectful,” said Harris of Embiid. “We were at a very well-known steakhouse. He asks for the steak to be burnt, burnt. The chef came out and was like he’s not burning the steak, that’s like against his chef code … [Joel] was disappointed and he was like, ‘I don’t want to eat here anymore.'”

Current Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey and former Sixers big Amir Johnson were also quoted in the story as saying that Embiid likes to have everything, including chicken wings, burnt. You can read the entire story, which details Embiid’s various eccentricities, here.

Fans were especially appalled by the revelation about how Embiid likes his steak done. Check out some of the reactions.

It is easy to see where they are coming from too. That is such an unnecessary waste of a perfectly good cut of meat, especially at a place like a steakhouse. Embiid might as well be eating wood chips at that point.

Interestingly enough however, Embiid is not on an island when it comes to his peculiar food preferences. There is actually another star athlete who prefers eating his steak in a similarly offensive way.

Photo: Nov 27, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) warms up before action against the Sacramento Kings at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Embiid has interesting comments about playing in Philadelphia

Joel Embiid holds a ball

Joel Embiid does not think that the City of Brotherly Love gets enough brotherly love from the media.

The Philadelphia 76ers star made some interesting comments this week in response to this year’s MVP race. Embiid said that it can be attributed to bias against him or bias against athletes in Philly if he does not win MVP.

“If it happens, great,” said Embiid of winning the award, per ESPN. “If it doesn’t, I don’t know what I have to do. I’ll feel like they hate me. I feel like the standard for guys in Philly or for me is different than everyone else.”

Embiid, who has yet to win MVP in his career but is a frontrunner this year, scored 44 points in a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday. If Embiid fails to take home the award, it might not necessarily mean something more sinister is at hand. Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets is having a top-flight season too and without a James Harden to ease his load thanks to Denver’s injuries. Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks is also roughly on par with Embiid in terms of both individual numbers and team record.

For what it’s worth, there have been four total NBA MVPs from Philadelphia teams (Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving, Moses Malone, and Allen Iverson). Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper also just won the National League MVP in baseball this past season. That being said, Embiid is probably not the only one who thinks that athletes in the city have it tough.

Photo: Nov 27, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) warms up before action against the Sacramento Kings at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Embiid disputes idea that he threw Ben Simmons under the bus

Joel Embiid in a Sixers jersey

Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons ended their Philadelphia 76ers partnership on a poor note after last season, but Embiid is disputing just how much he was targeting the former point guard in some viral comments.

Simmons completely melted down in the 76ers’ Eastern Conference semifinals playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks last season. He refused to shoot by the end of the series, which helped Atlanta win and advance.

At the end of the Sixers’ Game 7 loss, Simmons passed up an open shot that left many wondering what he was doing. Embiid mentioned that play during a postgame comment that received tremendous attention.

But Embiid now says he wasn’t taking a shot at Simmons at the time.

Embiid discussed the situation during an appearance on “The Draymond Green Show.” Green asked Embiid about the situation with Simmons, and Embiid interjected.

“I didn’t understand what happened, what led to that whole situation. To this day, I don’t understand. Like I said, obviously we didn’t win a championship together, but in the regular season, we were dominant. Every single season, 50-win seasons. I always believed that we had a chance to win together. Like I always believed it. Even today, I believe we had a chance to win. And what we were able to accomplish, obviously winning matters the most. But I feel like we had a chance. That’s why I don’t understand what was going on, honestly, what caused him to want to leave. I understand his explanation, but a lot of things don’t make sense,” Embiid told Green.

Green then asked Embiid whether he felt his Game 7 press conference affected things.

“I don’t think it did,” Embiid said. “You’re a member of the media and this is what you just mentioned, that they’re always going to try to pick up little stuff just to … cause controversy and all that stuff.

“If you look at the whole press conference, they asked me a question. ‘What happened, like what caused this loss?’ And I literally mentioned a bunch of events that happened. I mentioned where it really started. And you know, I was being honest. Like me and you. I said what I wanted to say. I’m not gonna hold myself just because I gotta make people feel better. And I feel like I didn’t hurt anybody’s feelings.

“I mentioned, I was like, obviously the passed-up dunk, I didn’t even mention that. I said, ‘we missed an opportunity’ and then I actually called out Matisse (Thybulle) for missing the free throw. I didn’t call out him by name. I was like, “We missed a free throw” and then I called out a bunch of events that happened after, like we fouled a 3-point shooter. And I mentioned me turning the ball over when we were down four at that point, and they ended up scoring in the fastbreak, which pushed the lead up to six points. I mentioned a bunch of other events when we made mistakes. I mentioned myself, but the media’s gonna be the media. They all take that one part when I said we passed up a layup and we missed a free throw and all of that, which doesn’t make sense.

“I didn’t call out anybody specifically. I just listed a bunch of events that happened that led to us. At that point, the score was tied or we were down by one at that point when we missed the free throw. And I called out a bunch of events that happened after. But they just had to pick out that one part where it seemed like I was calling someone out when I wasn’t willing to. I was talking about the sequence of events that happened.”

Embiid really wanted to emphasize with Green that he didn’t single out the Simmons incident as the culprit.

We even noted as much in our original story about the matter last year. I wrote at the time that “Embiid wasn’t trying to call out Simmons, but he couldn’t help but do so after the loss.”

Embiid didn’t set out to put everything on Simmons, but when asked what went wrong, that was the first thing he mentioned as where it all started going badly in Game 7.

Intentional or not, Embiid ended up throwing Simmons under the bus. Between what Embiid said and what Doc Rivers said, Simmons had his feelings irreparably hurt, and he refused to play in Philly again.

That’s a Simmons problem much more than an Embiid problem.

H/T R/NBA Volken330
Photo: Jan 6, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) looks on during the second quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

76ers had to delete tweet after losing to Nuggets

Joel Embiid holds a basketball

The Philadelphia 76ers had a real “congratulations, you played yourself” moment this week.

Philadelphia faced off against the Denver Nuggets in a national TV battle on Monday. The game pitted two of the best centers in the NBA, Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic, against each other.

The 76ers raced out to a double-digit lead and led by as many as 19, carrying their lead into the second half. That prompted the team’s Twitter page to post a message that read “simple math: 21 > 15” along with an Embiid highlight. Embiid wears jersey No. 21 while Jokic wears No. 15.

Unfortunately, the jinx was in full effect as the 76ers wound up blowing the lead and losing by a final score of 114-110. The team decided to delete their tweet … but not before the Nuggets captured a screenshot. After the game went final, the Nuggets clowned the 76ers over the tweet gone wrong.

Embiid did score 34 points to Jokic’s 22. But Jokic walked out of there with the W, so that is all that mattered. As for the 76ers’ tweet, it is a good lesson to never start gloating early. You would really think the 76ers would know better too after this notorious episode of theirs from a few years ago.

Photo: Nov 27, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) warms up before action against the Sacramento Kings at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant, Joel Embiid trade words early in 76ers-Nets game

Kevin Durant talks to Joel Embiid

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Kevin Durant and Joel Embiid were trading words during a game between their teams.

It didn’t take long on Thursday night for KD and Embiid to start talking during the Brooklyn Nets-Philadelphia 76ers game. Late in the first quarter, the two star players traded words.

The words continued after the end of the first quarter:

The sort of heated talk between the players was to be expected. When their teams met earlier this season, there were words and gestures traded after the end of their teams’ respective wins.

Durant has tremendous respect for Embiid, and vice versa. So the heated confrontations and talk between them is a signal that they are in the middle of high-level competition.

Durant had a monster first half with 18 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists as Brooklyn took a 72-51 lead. Embiid had 21 points and 8 rebounds at the half. But James Harden struggled with his shot and went 3/15 to begin the game.

Considering all the beef between the teams (they recently swapped stars James Harden for Ben Simmons), fans would love to see a full 7-game playoff series between the squads.

Shaq offended by comparison of 76ers stars to him and Kobe Bryant duo

Shaq sitting courtside

The tandem of James Harden and Joel Embiid seems to be pretty lethal so far, but Shaquille O’Neal doesn’t want to hear any comparisons between those two and his famous duo.

Shaq talked on his “The Big Podcast with Shaq” about the Harden trade to Philadelphia. Shaq was asked whether Harden/Embiid could compare to him and Kobe, who teamed together on the Los Angeles Lakers from 1996-2004, winning three championships. Shaq took offense to the suggestion.

“No,” O’Neal said when asked if the Harden/Embiid duo could compare to him and Kobe. “No. Hell no. Not after one year. Me and Kobe had eight years of damage together. No, not even close. Stop it. Listen, no, hell no and f— no.”

That’s a pretty convincing response.

The 76ers are 5-0 in games when Harden plays. Harden is an excellent scorer and dangerous 3-point shooter, with his scoring ability similar to Kobe Bryant’s. Embiid is a dominant big man, which is what Shaq was, though Shaq could unbelievably overpower his opponents.

Harden and Embiid are showing signs that they can be a great pairing. But until they rack up a few championships, the comparisons to Shaq and Kobe won’t hold water. Keep in mind though that this isn’t a slight towards the 76ers, since Shaq has shown his support of Embiid. It’s just that you can’t compare a tandem that has played five games together against one that had 8 years.

Photo: Mar 10, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; NBA former player Shaquille O’Neal watches a game between the Atlanta Hawks and Toronto Raptors in the third quarter at Philips Arena. The Hawks won 105-99. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Embiid gets in another shot at ex-Sixers GM Bryan Colangelo

Joel Embiid holds a basketball

Joel Embiid appears to have reached basketball nirvana, and he can’t help but reflect on how far his team has come since just a few years ago.

After the Philadephia 76ers defeated the New York Knicks on Wednesday to improve to a perfect 3-0 in the James Harden era, Embiid spoke on all the ups and downs that he has gone through with the team. He also got in another jab at former 76ers GM Bryan Colangelo for good measure.

“I’ve been through a lot,” said Embiid, per NBC Sports Philadelphia. “Whether it’s, you talk about, you know, freakin’ GMs using burner accounts, talking trash on their players.”

Embiid also noted the firing of Brett Brown, whom Embiid says he thought would be his coach for the rest of his career, as well as the significant roster turnover for the team since Embiid was drafted in 2014.

You may recall that Colangelo, who was Sixers GM from 2016 to 2018, was caught in an embarrassing scandal where he allegedly used burner Twitter accounts to diss the team’s own players. While it turned out that it was not actually Colangelo who was behind the accounts, the faux pas still led to his downfall as he ended up resigning from his post. Embiid also took plenty of shots at Colangelo at the time of the scandal.

These days however, Embiid, who is now the longest-tenured player on the 76ers, finally has a co-star in Harden who seems to mesh perfectly with him, putting the team in a position to get over the hump in the East at long last. Thus, it is safe to say that the Sixers has come a long way since having to worry about egg profiles on Twitter.

Photo: Nov 27, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) warms up before action against the Sacramento Kings at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Embiid reacts to first game playing with James Harden

Joel Embiid holds a basketball

The Philadelphia 76ers spent an arm and a leg to acquire James Harden from the Brooklyn Nets in early February. There’s no certainty he’ll remain with the team beyond 2022, which means every game paired with Joel Embiid is of the utmost importance.

On Friday night, Harden made his 76ers debut and if the results are any indication of what’s to come, Philly fans have plenty of reason to be elated.

In a 133-102 drubbing of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Harden posted 27 points to go along with 12 assists and eight rebounds. But that doesn’t necessarily reflect just how impactful he was.

MVP-frontrunner Joel Embiid had an even better night thanks to Harden’s presence, scoring 34 points, while recording 10 rebounds and four assists. After the game, he couldn’t wipe the ear-to-ear smile off his face, claiming it’s the most wide open he’s ever been.

“That was probably the most wide-open I’ve ever been in my career,” Embiid said. “I had a lot of easy baskets. I used to have to go for everything, but in the fourth quarter, the shot-making ability, shot creation…you should’ve seen my face. I was just like, ‘I’ve never had this,’ nothing close to it. So, hopefully that continues.”

Embiid wasn’t the only one thrilled with how things panned out. Harden said he was “extremely happy,” while Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey said, “I try not to get too high or too low, but that was a good one.”

There’s a lot of excitement in and around Philly right now and the sudden momentum could carry them a ways.

Photo: Nov 27, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) warms up before action against the Sacramento Kings at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Embiid takes another subtle shot at Ben Simmons

Joel Embiid during a game

Joel Embiid’s middle name might as well be “Savage” at this point.

Speaking with reporters this week, the Philadelphia 76ers star commented on the addition of former MVP James Harden to the team. Harden will be making his Sixers debut on Friday against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“It’s not going to be hard,” said Embiid of adjusting to Harden’s presence in the Philly lineup, per The Athletic’s Rich Hofmann. “We’re not talking about non-shooters or guys that are limited offensively. We’re talking about James Harden. You see what he did in Houston, whether it was scoring the ball and then going to Brooklyn and all the talent offensively.”

It does not take a rocket scientist to see that the “non-shooters” comment was a subtle swipe at Simmons, who was Embiid’s former co-star. Simmons is perhaps the single most notorious non-shooter in the NBA. His offensive limitations also arguably led to the souring of his relationship with Embiid.

For Embiid, who tried his best to make it work with Simmons during their five-plus years together, he has never been one to hold his tongue. Now that the two are no longer teammates, Embiid is definitely not holding his tongue about Simmons, as he has shown time and time again in recent weeks.

Photo: Jan 6, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) looks on during the second quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Embiid reveals last time he spoke with Ben Simmons

Joel Embiid holds a basketball

The relationship between Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons appeared to deteriorate rather quickly after the end of last season, but the two apparently did speak to one another before Simmons was traded to the Brooklyn Nets.

Embiid spoke about the Simmons situation with ESPN’s Malika Andrews this week. The Philadelphia 76ers star called Simmons a “great player” who is going to help the Nets, but Embiid said it go to the point where he didn’t care about Simmons anymore. He also said he last heard from his former teammate a week or so before the NBA trade deadline.

“He’s a great player and I think whatever he’s gonna add to Brooklyn is gonna take them to another level,” Embiid said. “I did a lot of chasing around, trying to get him back and trying to make him feel comfortable again. It was tough. I didn’t care anymore.”

There is clearly no love lost between Embiid and Simmons. The two were said to be having issues even before Embiid threw Simmons under the bus following last year’s playoffs. When Simmons refused to report to the Sixers during the offseason, Embiid made it clear he no longer supported him.

If you want to know how Embiid feels about Simmons, look no further than the meme the MVP candidate tweeted out after Simmons was traded. The two probably won’t be spending holidays together going forward.

Photo: Nov 27, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) warms up before action against the Sacramento Kings at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports