Sixers’ Joel Embiid writes he’s ‘tired of being babied’ during NBA Playoffs
Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid, of Cameroon, in action prior to the first half in Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Miami Heat, Saturday, April 14, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
PHILADELPHIA — Sixers star center Joel Embiid caused a stir Monday night when he appeared to air his frustrations on Instagram.
Philly’s second-year phenom hasn’t played since fracturing an orbital bone March 28 and missed Monday’s loss to the Miami Heat in Game 2 of an Eastern Conference first-round series. Embiid, eager to make his career postseason debut, has warmed up on the Wells Fargo Center court before each of the past two games but hasn’t suited up to play.
After the Heat evened the series with a 113-103 win, Embiid posted a photo on Instagram that read, “[expletive] sick and tired of being babied.”
.@JoelEmbiid just posted a message on his Insta, at 11:19pm. I added the : pic.twitter.com/rqx12N07vV
— Amy Fadool Kane (@amyfadoolNBCS) April 17, 2018
Coach Brett Brown said during his postgame news conference he believed Embiid’s message was rooted in competitiveness and a desire to return to the court.
“He wants to play in front of the fans and he wants to see this through, and when he’s not able to do that, he gets frustrated,” Brown said. “I respect his frustration.”
You can listen to more of Brown’s response in the video below.
Sixers’ coach Brett Brown responds to Joel Embiid’s Instagram post expressing frustration
Embiid averaged a team-high 22.9 points and 11 rebounds per game for the Sixers this season. Brown said his squad especially felt Embiid’s absence in the second quarter of Monday’s loss, when Miami outscored Philadelphia 34-13.
Typically, when the Sixers lost control of a contest this season, they would throw the ball to Embiid in the post to slow their spiral. They couldn’t do that Monday and never found an offensive rhythm.
Brown said before Monday’s game that Embiid still hasn’t participated in team drills with contact since suffering his injury. There’s hope the 7-foot-2 center will return for Thursday’s Game 3 in Miami, but Brown declined to speculate on the possibility.
“He really hasn’t done anything like feeling a body,” Brown said. “We’re slowly trying to move into the script, to the 5-on-0 stage. But to have any announcement on Game 3, that’s not gonna happen, because we don’t know. We’re just moving along.”