The season came to a flat end for the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday. They were on the wrong end of a 112-88 final score in Game 7 of their second-round series against the Boston Celtics. Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, the NBA MVP, is taking a lot of heat for his performance on the court and in a postgame press conference.
Embiid did not have a strong game on Sunday. The same can be said for Philadelphia’s other star, James Harden. Boston’s top two scorers, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, both scored more points individually than Harden and Embiid did combined. Tatum, in fact, more than doubled their total.
After the game, Embiid addressed Harden’s contract situation, noting that he has a player option and it will be the job of the front office to bring Harden back to Philadelphia. He made it clear that he wanted it to happen, saying, per Rich Hofmann of The Athletic, “But I still believe that me and him, we got the chance to win.” Embiid then continued.
“But it’s gonna take more than us. We all gotta look at ourselves. I gotta be better and I will be better. That’s what I’m focused on. All of us, we got to come back and find ways to just keep improving and help the team. We can’t win alone, I can’t win alone, me and James, we just can’t win alone. That’s why basketball is played 5-on-5. So, we just need everybody to just trying to keep finding ways to get better. And we’ll be fine.”
Full Joel Embiid quote when he was asked about James Harden below. pic.twitter.com/BBnXrP1fIZ
— Rich Hofmann (@rich_hofmann) May 14, 2023
Of course, basketball is a 5-on-5 game. And if Harden and Embiid (or even just one of them) had a great game in defeat, the comments would be more valid.
But that wasn’t the case. Embiid and Harden were probably Philadelphia’s worst two starters on Sunday.
With that in mind, Embiid’s postgame comments were not taken well.
Tobias Harris – 19/5 on 53.8% FG
Tyrese Maxey – 17/3/4 on 41.7% FG
PJ Tucker – 11pts on 57% FG
Harden and Embiid 8/29 from the floor combined
Deflecting to the others, when you got double digit scoring from 3 role players is straight up a lack of accountability. https://t.co/NW503I2VUT
— Joey Wilkinson 🃏 (@AssassinateHate) May 15, 2023
Yeah….he can go. https://t.co/zlHEAFTF4s
— Christian West (@christiankwest) May 15, 2023
Full quote is slightly better but he is not the one to be saying this lol https://t.co/iLaRgPKBZ2
— EricTheGreat (@eric_delaluz) May 15, 2023
full version of this quote is still not great bob https://t.co/ktNZCRqcaV
— Brady Fred (@Brady_Fred) May 15, 2023