The Philadelphia 76ers lost Game 2 of their first-round series against the Miami Heat on Monday night, thanks largely to Dwyane Wade turning back the clock and scoring 28 points. Of course, if the Sixers had star center Joel Embiid on the floor, they may have been able to still find a way to win despite Wade’s tremendous performance.
Embiid hasn’t played since March 28 after suffering an orbital fracture, and still hasn’t been medically cleared to play (though he’s cleared the concussion protocol).
Well, after Monday night’s loss, Embiid took to social media to show his frustration about not being out there to help his teammates.
Embiid shared an Instagram story which read, “Fucking sick and tired of being babied.”
— Zach Harper (@talkhoops) April 17, 2018
Naturally, Sixers head coach Brett Brown was asked about the social media post after the game, and said he respects Embiid’s frustration.
“He just wants to play basketball, he wants to be with his team… I respect his frustration.”
— NBA TV (@NBATV) April 17, 2018
It’s easy to understand both sides of this whole thing, and Brown nailed it with his thoughts on Embiid.
Embiid is a competitor, so of course he’s extremely frustrated when he can’t be out there to help win games, especially when he feels he’s ready to go. You wouldn’t want him being happy about sitting out; his frustration is a good thing.
Now, should he be using the words “babied” to describe how it’s being handled? Probably not, as it comes across as a shot at the organization, but he surely respects them and is simply a 24-year-old competitor that is unhappy. The 76ers — as shown by Brown’s comments — understand that, though they’d probably appreciate it if Embiid didn’t make social media posts like this one.
And the Sixers are right to be as careful as possible with how this is handled. Do you think any of them are trying to just keep Embiid out if they think he’s 100% ready to go, in a playoff series? Of course not. They’re making sure their young franchise star is healthy, as they should be.
The hope has been that Embiid would be cleared for Game 3, and after tonight’s loss and social media post, you know both sides are really hoping the Kansas product will be able to play.