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#pounditWednesday, June 29, 2022

Joel Embiid

Report: Joel Embiid pushing for 76ers to make 1 particular move

Joel Embiid with a straight face

Apr 16, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) before game one of the first round for the 2022 NBA playoffs against the Toronto Raptors at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Embiid is apparently getting involved in the Philadelphia 76ers’ offseason process.

Veteran basketball writer Marc Stein reported on Thursday that Embiid is giving his strong backing to the 76ers’ upcoming pursuit of veteran forward PJ Tucker. The 37-year-old Tucker will be an unrestricted free agent after declining his $7.4 million player option with the Miami Heat for next year.

Tucker is the kind of role player any contender would love to have. He does the dirty work on defense and on the offensive glass with some automatic corner threes sprinkled in as well. Tucker helped the Milwaukee Bucks win an NBA title in 2021 and started 70 games for the Heat this past season en route to a No. 1 seed and an Eastern Conference Finals berth.

Reports are that the 76ers could be throwing a borderline absurd contract at Tucker once free agency officially opens. Perhaps that is in part because Embiid has given his blessing for the team to go out and get Tucker.

Joel Embiid has interesting tweet about Heat

Joel Embiid with a straight face

Apr 16, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) before game one of the first round for the 2022 NBA playoffs against the Toronto Raptors at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Embiid probably got a few side glances with the message he had about the Miami Heat on Wednesday night.

The Heat lost Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals to the Boston Celtics despite holding a five-point halftime advantage on their home floor at FTX Arena. The wheels came off in the second half for the Heat, and star player Jimmy Butler still appeared to be very hobbled by his knee injury, missing short on several good looks from the field.

The Philadelphia 76ers star big Embiid tweeted a message about the Heat during the second half, saying that they needed another star. Embiid also said that Boston simply had too many weapons to handle.

Butler is Miami’s undisputed leader, but Embiid obviously does not think too much of Bam Adebayo, who looked like the Heat’s best overall player in Game 5. Reigning Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro also missed his second straight game with a groin injury.

Still, Embiid’s point that the Heat need some new blood is well taken. Even at full health, Miami is relying on 37-year-old PJ Tucker, 36-year-old Kyle Lowry, and undrafted players Gabe Vincent and Max Strus as top-of-the-rotation guys. A slight overhaul might be necessary in the offseason, assuming that the Heat do not come back to win the series.

Of course, some may interpret Embiid’s message as an invitation for Miami to recruit him to be that second star. After all, he still maintains a pretty close relationship with his ex-76ers teammate Butler.

Joel Embiid gets laughable honor from City of Philadelphia

Joel Embiid with a straight face

Apr 16, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) before game one of the first round for the 2022 NBA playoffs against the Toronto Raptors at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The City of Brotherly Love showed plenty of it to Joel Embiid this week … albeit in truly laughable fashion.

Anna Orso of the Philly Inquirer reported on Thursday that the Philadelphia City Council officially passed a resolution naming the 76ers All-Star Embiid MVP … “Most Valuable Philadelphian.”

Embiid famously missed out on the NBA MVP award this season, finishing second to Denver Nuggets counterpart Nikola Jokic. But while this “MVP” honor stands for “Most Valuable Philadelphian,” it could also stand for another very apt description — “most very pathetic.”

It really doesn’t get much more participation trophy-esque and “it’s giving loser vibes” than that. Philadelphia might as well have passed a resolution declaring that the 76ers, who lost in the second round this year, were their own personal NBA champions too.

That is not to take away anything from Embiid, who had a fine season with an NBA-high 30.6 points per game and battled admirably through multiple injuries in the playoffs. But we doubt that this so-called “MVP” award will make Embiid feel too much better, especially with how disappointed he sounded about not winning the real thing.

Shaq calls out Joel Embiid, James Harden with ‘superduo’ Instagram post

Shaq holds a mic

Mar 24, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA: Former Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O’Neal speaks during a NBA game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers were once again unable to get past the second round of the postseason this year. Many thought things would be different for them after they acquired James Harden in a blockbuster trade, but Shaquille O’Neal knows it is never that simple.

Shaq took a swipe at Harden and Joel Embiid in an Instagram post on Sunday. He also paid tribute to the late Kobe Bryant by saying there was “only one superduo ever created.” That duo, of course, is Shaq and Kobe.

Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen would probably like a word. Also, Embiid played through significant injuries during the playoffs this year. There is no telling how the 76ers would have fared if he were healthy. Either way, we get the point Shaq was trying to make.

The Sixers have now been unable to make deep playoff runs despite having star players like Harden, Embiid, Ben Simmons and Jimmy Butler. Struggles like theirs are a reminder of just how difficult it is to win in the postseason. That is why the dominance we saw from Shaq and Kobe was so impressive.

Joel Embiid shares what his Sixers are missing

Joel Embiid with a straight face

Apr 16, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) before game one of the first round for the 2022 NBA playoffs against the Toronto Raptors at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers saw their season come to an end on Thursday night following a Game 6 loss to the Miami Heat.

It was a frustrating loss for the fans, who had high expectations after the team acquired James Harden at the trade deadline. But it was equally as difficult for the players, including Joel Embiid.

The Sixers star, who finished second in NBA MVP, thinks he knows what the 76ers are missing though. Speaking after his team’s loss, Embiid seemed to say his Sixers could use some more toughness, such as a guy like PJ Tucker.

“I mean, we’ve had a few tough guys since I’ve been here. I can recall, whether it was Mike Scott, he didn’t play a lot of minutes, but when you have size and toughness, that goes a long way,” Embiid said.

“You look at someone like P.J. Tucker, great player, but it’s not about him knocking down shots. It’s about what he does. Whether it’s on the defensive or rebounding the ball. You look at defensively, he plays with so much energy, believes that you can get from point A to point B, and he believes that no one can beat him and he’s tough, like he’s just physical and he’s tough. And [the Heat] have a few of those guys, whether it’s Bam [Adebayo] and all those guys.”

The Sixers need those kind of guys. And after being bounced in the second round for the fourth time in five years, you can bet Embiid will push the front office to find them this offseason.

Joel Embiid shares the 1 big thing about James Harden that disappointed him

Joel Embiid holds a ball

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

James Harden was unable to help the Philadelphia 76ers get over the hump in the postseason this year. His play down the stretch was a major disappointment, and Joel Embiid did not exactly defend him after the Sixers were eliminated by the Miami Heat on Thursday night.

Harden took only two shots the entire second half in Philadelphia’s 99-90 Game 6 loss. He scored 11 points. Embiid told reporters afterward that he was disappointed Harden and the rest of the 76ers were not more aggressive.

“Since we got him, everybody expected the Houston James Harden. But that’s not who he is anymore,” Embiid said, via ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “He’s more of a playmaker. I thought, at times, he could have been, as all of us could have been, more aggressive. All of us whether it was Tyrese [Maxey] or Tobias [Harris] or guys coming off the bench.”

Embiid said he felt the entire team could have put in more effort on both sides of the ball. While he tried to make it seem like he was not singling out Harden, it is noteworthy that Embiid openly compared the version of Harden the Sixers got to the one that starred with the Rockets.

Harden averaged 21.0 points in 21 regular-season games with Philly. The Houston Harden that Embiid referred to averaged 30-plus points per game. Harden was even less effective in the postseason, where he averaged 18.6 points per game.

The 76ers needed Harden to take games over, especially with Embiid battling multiple injuries. Harden was unable to do that, which is one of the main reasons the Sixers are going home early again. They are now facing some major questions heading into the offseason.

Joel Embiid offers first comments on not winning NBA MVP

Joel Embiid with a straight face

Apr 16, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) before game one of the first round for the 2022 NBA playoffs against the Toronto Raptors at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Embiid had another big season for the Philadelphia 76ers, though it didn’t result in the NBA MVP award.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on Monday that Nikola Jokic won MVP for the second consecutive season. Even though the league has yet to make the official announcement, Embiid was asked Tuesday about the result.

The Sixers big man was disappointed about not winning MVP and did not hide his feelings.

“This is something that I knew weeks ago … I just knew it wasn’t gonna happen. Obviously, congrats to Nikola [Jokic]. He deserved it. He had an amazing season. There’s no right or wrong. There was a lot of candidates. I’m not mad. That’s two years in a row I put myself in that position. It didn’t happen,” Embiid said.

The Sixers big man then suggested he might need to change his focus.

“It’s almost like, at this point, it’s whatever. Whatever happens, happens. Last year, I campaigned about it. This year, I answered questions when I was asked. Like I say, I don’t know what else I have to do to win it and, to me, at this point, it’s whatever … not that I wasn’t focused on the bigger picture, but it’s really time to really put all my energy into the bigger picture, which is to win the whole thing.”

This would mark the second consecutive season that Embiid comes in second behind Jokic. Last year’s vote was not close, but this year’s was closer. It’s understandable why Embiid might need to change his focus so that he isn’t let down as much by not winning. He put together another great season and really couldn’t do much more. To still not win MVP after the season he had has to be devastating.

76ers fined over injury report violation

Joel Embiid in a Sixers jersey

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

The Philadelphia 76ers were fined by the NBA on Saturday over the way they handled the injury reporting for Joel Embiid.

Embiid returned to play in Game 3 of the Sixers’ Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Miami Heat on Friday night. Embiid had not played in the first two games of the series due to a concussion and orbital fracture.

There were frequent updates regarding Embiid’s status ahead of Game 3. But we did not learn he would be playing in the game until not long before tipoff. Apparently that did not sit well with the NBA.

The league fined the Sixers $50,000 for violating league injury reporting rules. “The team failed to disclose Joel Embiid’s participation status in an accurate and timely manner prior to Game 3 of their conference semifinal playoff series vs. the Miami Heat on May 6,” the league said.

Embiid played and had 18 points and 11 rebounds in the Sixers’ win. Philly is now down 2-1 in the series.

The Phoenix Suns were similarly fined over their handling of Devin Booker’s injury status.

Jimmy Butler had message for Joel Embiid on Instagram after game

Jimmy Butler points on the court

Jan 22, 2020; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) controls the ball against the Washington Wizards during the second half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Embiid is officially playing basketball again, and that means he is also officially getting roasted on social media again.

The Philadelphia 76ers center returned to the lineup on Friday for the first time suffering a concussion and orbital fracture in Philly’s previous playoff series. Embiid turned in 18 points and 11 rebounds in 36 minutes to help spark the 76ers to a 99-79 victory over the Miami Heat.

Embiid, who wore a protective mask as he played, had a fitting post to Instagram after the win. “‘No one cared who I was until I put on the mask,” wrote Embiid, quoting a famous Bane line from “The Dark Knight Rises.”

Heat star Jimmy Butler, who took the L on Friday at the hands of Embiid and the 76ers, responded with a message for Embiid in the comments section. “F— yo mask,” Butler wrote with a shrugging emoji (profanity edited by LBS).

The exchange was all in good fun though as Butler and Embiid are actually pretty close. They used to be teammates on the 76ers during the 2018-19 season and seemed to really hit it off with each other. Butler also showed love to Embiid when Embiid was sidelined with injury.

By now, we know that Embiid is a top-tier meme god (as we witnessed after Friday’s game as well). But it turns out that Butler can meme right back too.

Joel Embiid posts perfect Stringer Bell ‘Wire’ meme after Game 3 win

Joel Embiid in a Sixers jersey

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 does two things really well: play basketball, and post memes. On Friday night, he excelled at both.

Embiid returned for the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night after missing the first two games against the Miami Heat due to a concussion and orbital fracture. The Sixers big man was cleared to play in Game 3 of the series and did so with a black mask on.

Embiid had 18 points and 11 rebounds while helping his Sixers to a 99-79 win over Miami. The win was crucial; if Philly had lost, they would have been in a nearly insurmountable 0-3 hole. Instead, the series is now 2-1 Miami, with Philly having a chance to tie the series in Game 4 at home.

After the game, Embiid did not post any words, but rather just a photo on Twitter. The photo was of Stringer Bell, a character from legendary HBO show “The Wire.”

The meme is of Bell saying “I want you to put the word out there that we back up. You understand? We back up.”

The words are said by Bell after he gets Avon Barksdale’s drug operation back up and running. Embiid was using the words to signify that his Sixers were back up and running after being counted out at down 2-0 in the series.

Don’t count Embiid and the Sixers out yet.