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#pounditFriday, February 3, 2023

Articles tagged: Joel Embiid

Great photo of Joel Embiid next to Kevin Hart goes viral

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 can make darn near anyone look small, while Kevin Hart can make lots of people look big. When you get the two next to each other, the product can be magical.

FOX 29 in Philaldephia’s Breland Moore shared a photo on Twitter Sunday from the NFC Championship Game where the Eagles were hosting the San Francisco 49ers. The photo showed Embiid, a 76ers star player, next to Hart, a famous actor who is from Philly.

Embiid is 7-feet tall, while Hart is just a few inches over five feet.

Take a look at the result:

Hart looks like he’s about half Embiid’s size there.

The photo brought up memories of the funny Jose Altuve-Aaron Judge picture.

Fortunately for both men, the Eagles got the win. Maybe the pressure will be on Embiid and his 76ers to live up to the success of the Phillies and Eagles and make the NBA Finals this season.

Joel Embiid addresses being snubbed as All-Star Game starter

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

Joel Embiid seemed to make a statement on Saturday in his first game since not being voted as a starter to the NBA All-Star Game.

Embiid scored 47 points with 18 rebounds in his Philadelphia 76ers’ 126-119 win over the Denver Nuggets at Wells Fargo Center. He dominated in the paint and helped his team make a second-half comeback in the victory.

After the game, Embiid was interviewed by ABC/ESPN’s Cassidy Hubbarth, who asked the 76ers center about not being voted a starter for the All-Star Game. Embiid brushed aside the snub and said he was focused on bigger things.

“I keep getting disrespected, and it’s cool,” Embiid said. “I’m just going to try to keep helping my team win games. Try to get us to the No. 1 seed. And then the playoffs, all I ask is no freak injuries. I think I’m due for a big run, and my team too.”

Embiid has endured some bad luck during the playoffs.

In 2018, he was hit in the face and suffered a fractured orbital bone which caused him to miss his team’s first two playoff games and play using a mask in subsequent games. In 2019, he dealt with knee issues and also got sick in the playoffs. His Sixers were knocked out on an incredible bounce for Kawhi Leonard when the Toronto Raptors won the championship. In 2021, Embiid played through a tear in his knee. Then last year, Embiid played through a torn ligament in his thumb that required surgery.

Philly has not made it past the Eastern Conference semifinals since Embiid joined the team. Maybe he’s right that they’re due for a run.

Daryl Morey blames surprising culprit for Joel Embiid All-Star snub

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

Philadelphia 76ers president Daryl Morey is fuming about the fact that Joel Embiid was not named an All-Star starter, and he blamed one specific culprit for the snub.

In an appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic’s “The Anthony Gargano Show” Friday, Morey blasted the “shameless Boston media” for holding Embiid’s vote tally down and preventing him from being named a starter.

“Joel Embiid, completely hosed again,” Morey said, as transcribed by Dan Roche of NBC Sports Philadelphia. “This time, to your point, the perpetrators of the crime were the shameless media, who — most of them have recused themselves because they don’t want to vote on something that affects players’ paychecks – but the shameless, shameless Boston media is way over-represented, and they haven’t recused themselves. And they shoved Joel low enough so that he’s not an All-Star starter, it’s crazy.”

All-Star starters are decided based on combined fan, player, and media votes. The fan vote accounts for 50 percent and the players and media make up the other 50 percent. Players are only classified between guards and frontcourt players, and only three of the latter can be selected.

Morey’s argument seems to be based on the media’s part of the voting results. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kevin Durant were essentially locks, leaving the third and final spot between Embiid and Boston’s Jayson Tatum. According to the results released by the NBA, Embiid came in third among players and media, and fourth among fans. Tatum was similarly fourth among players and third among fans, but first in the media vote, ahead of even Antetokounmpo and Durant. Morey is more or less suggesting that Tatum’s status was down to the “over-represented” Boston media vote.

There is no real way for Morey to prove his argument, but it makes for a fun conspiracy theory. He is hardly alone in feeling that Embiid was snubbed, so plenty might just agree with him.

Joel Embiid fined by NBA over crude celebration

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 was fined by the NBA on Friday for his crude celebration during the Philadelphia 76ers’ 137-133 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.

Embiid dropped in a layup and was fouled during the third quarter of the game. Afterwards, he did three crotch chops.

The celebration is the same one popularized by WWF group D-Generation X in the late-’90s and 2000s.

Kevin Durant called the celebration “trash,” which led to a response from Embiid.

The league shared their feelings on the matter Friday. They fined Embiid $25,000 for “making an obscene gesture on the playing court.”

As far as Embiid’s concerned, that’s a small price to pay for having some fun on the court. Durant probably still thinks the celebration was trash.

Opposing NBA player reacts to Joel Embiid All-Star news

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 starters for this season’s NBA All-Star Game were revealed on Thursday, and many could not believe that Joel Embiid was not part of the group.

The Philadelphia 76ers big man was edged out in the East, where the starters will be Giannis Antetokounmpo (captain), Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum.

Embiid did not make it despite averaging 33.4 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game this season.

Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma was stunned by the development.

“Ngl .@JoelEmbiid not starting is nuts,” Kuzma wrote.

“Ngl” is an acronym for “not gonna lie.”

He’s not alone; many people were stunned that an MVP contender didn’t even make it as an All-Star starter.

How could that be? It all has to do with the structure of the voting.

In 2012-2013, the NBA got rid of specific positions for voting and organized players as “guard” and “frontcourt.” This more encompassing categorization was made because the traditional center was being phased out of the game, so it didn’t make a ton of sense to force a traditional center onto the All-Star team if they weren’t deserved. Had there still been a center designation, Embiid would have made it.

But then Embiid got edged out in the other regard. The four most deserving All-Stars in the East are Antetokounmpo, Tatum, Embiid and Durant, who are all frontcourt players. So Embiid got squeezed out in the frontcourt for the East and ended up not making it as a starter.

What hurt Embiid was being fourth in the fan vote, which comprises 50 percent of the weight in determining the All-Stars. Media and player rankings, where Embiid was third, each comprise 25 percent.

NBA All-Star Game starters this year have 1 big snub

Adam Silver speaking

Jun 2, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; NBA commissioner Adam Silver talks to media before game one of the 2022 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

After narrowly missing out on the MVP award in back-to-back years, one top NBA star is missing out yet again.

The NBA announced on Thursday the official starters for this year’s All-Star Game in Salt Lake City. LeBron James (the captain), Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic, Zion Williamson, and Nikola Jokic were named the starters in the West. Giannis Antetokounmpo (the other captain), Jayson Tatum, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Donovan Mitchell got the nods in the East.

There was one major snub out East though — Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid did not earn a starting spot this year.

Many on Twitter, including Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma, expressed outrage over the omission of Embiid.

There were only three frontcourt spots up for grabs, so one of Tatum, Antetokounmpo, Durant, and Embiid (all of whom are having fantastic seasons on top-four teams in the conference) was inevitably going to get snubbed. But for Embiid to be the one who got shut out (when he is leading the East with 33.4 points per game and has had arguably a greater two-way impact than any of the others except for maybe Antetokoumpo) did not sit right with many.

Embiid will obviously make it in as an All-Star reserve and had been named an All-Star starter for the last five straight seasons before this one. Still, it should fun to see how the notoriously petty Embiid responds to his snub.

Joel Embiid had savage response to Kevin Durant calling him out

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 on Wednesday night busted out an old-school WWE celebration during the Philadelphia 76ers’ win over the Brooklyn Nets, and Kevin Durant did not appreciate it.

Embiid was fouled midway through the third quarter while making a layup to put the Sixers up 93-77. He celebrated by doing several crotch chops toward the crowd.

Durant, who has been out with a sprained MCL and did not travel to Philly with the Nets, sent several tweets during the game. One of them called Embiid’s celebration “trash.”

It took Embiid very little time to fire back. After the game, the five-time All-Star responded to Durant with a mashup video of the famous D-Generation X intro mixed with Embiid doing crotch chops.

Embiid apparently tweeted the response just before his postgame press conference. He had his phone in his hand and could not stop giggling when he sat down at the podium.

Embiid is a master social media troll. Durant should know that from personal experience, but the Nets star still decided to take a run at the champ. K.D. must have seen that coming.

Joel Embiid responds to criticism from Hakeem Olajuwon

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

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.

Russell Westbrook, Joel Embiid got into another war of words after game

Russell Westbrook dribbling

Dec 28, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) in action during the game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Westbrook’s feud with Patrick Beverley may be over, but his feud with Joel Embiid is still going as strong as ever.

With his Los Angeles Lakers trailing Embiid’s Philadelphia 76ers 113-112 in the closing seconds of Sunday’s game, Westbrook made a real Larry, Moe, and Curly show out of his team’s final possession. With Lakers head coach Darvin Ham opting not to call timeout after a defensive stop, Westbrook tried to isolate on Embiid. He then proceeded to lose the handle, recover and pull it back, then dribble wildly towards the paint before chucking an erratic apparent pass attempt that splatted off the rim. Time expired, and the Lakers lost.

After the game, Westbrook told reporters that Embiid fouled him on that final possession by grabbing his right wrist, per Lakers writer Kyle Goon.

Video footage and screenshots showing Embiid indeed making clear contact with Westbrook’s arm on the last play would later make the rounds online.

For his part, Embiid (predictably) denied fouling Westbrook on the play and fired back at Westbrook’s calls for a foul by pointing out that Westbrook had also bumped him on the preceding 76ers possession with no call.

“I don’t think I fouled him,” Embiid said, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “Physical play on both sides. You could have called a foul on the other end, too, on the bump. So, it goes both ways … [Westbrook] was actually unlucky because he lost the ball and then from there, he kind of had nothing else going. Yeah, I would say it was unlucky.”

The NBA released their last two-minute report for the game on Monday and, for what it’s worth, doubled down on there being no foul on the play. Instead, Embiid’s arm grab was deemed “marginal” contact.

While there was indeed contact on the play, referees tend to holster their whistles on the final possession of a game. To blame the referees is also to excuse the multiple boneheaded decisions made by the Lakers there — by Westbrook for isolating against Embiid instead of passing it out to LeBron James for the final shot and by Ham for not calling a timeout, even when things starting going south on the play.

As for Westbrook and Embiid, they have not liked each other for years, even dating back to Westbrook’s time with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Sunday’s controversial finish won’t do much to thaw out their icy relationship either.

Joel Embiid takes major shot at Raptors

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 might be playing for France at the 2024 Olympics. But he definitely will not be playing for Canada after the comments that he just made about their NBA team.

The Philadelphia 76ers star Embiid took a big swipe at the Toronto Raptors after they played each other on Monday. Philadelphia won in overtime by a 104-101 final score, but Embiid struggled from the field, going just 6-for-16 (though he did still end up with 28 points).

Addressing reporters afterwards, Embiid called out the Raptors’ play style.

“When you play a team like Toronto, they don’t really care,” the All-Star center Embiid said, per Sam DiGiovanni of ClutchPoints. “It seems like, most of the time, they don’t care about winning. They just want to shut down the other star players.”

Here is the full context of Embiid’s comments, which came after he was asked about the clutch performance of teammate De’Anthony Melton.

The Raptors, who are just 13-18 on the year, are known for their physical brand of defense. Embiid, in particular, had multiple pesky defenders like Scottie Barnes, OG Anunoby, Chris Boucher, and Pascal Siakam thrown at him during Monday’s game.

At best, Embiid is saying that he does not like the way that the Raptors play. At worst, his comments could be interpreted as an accusation that they are overly physical to the point of being dirty.

In any case, Embiid has it out for Toronto. The 76ers met the Raptors in last year’s playoffs, and Embiid did not care for them then either.