Brent Celek gets hero's send-off at Sixers game

Brent Celek gets hero's send-off at Sixers game

Brent Celek will always be an Eagle.

That sentiment resonated throughout the Delaware Valley on Tuesday afternoon when Celek was released by the Eagles.

It took only hours after the news broke for that sentiment to ring particularly true. Celek, who was the current longest-tenured athlete in Philadelphia, attended the Sixers-Pacers game at the Wells Fargo Center.

The best part? On the day he got cut, he was still rocking an Eagles hat and then received a lengthy standing ovation. Celek, in his typical unselfish manner, said repeatedly, "Thank you" and "I love you," as he smiled graciously while fans stayed on their feet.

"That's the reason why I'm probably not crying right now because I know at the end of the day, we brought the city what they needed and what they wanted," Celek said in an interview (which you can watch above) with NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Clark.

Watch the standing ovation below from multiple angles:

This won't be the last standing ovation Celek receives in Philadelphia.

After all, he's the ultimate Eagle — and now a champion forever.

Joel Embiid consults Cam Newton about playing in NFL

USA Today Images

Joel Embiid consults Cam Newton about playing in NFL

Joel Embiid is a fantastically large human who is skilled at many things: trash talk, Twitter, basketball, soccer ... so why not football?

Hey, you never know what JoJo's next move will be.

After reports of 76ers minority owner Michael Rubin having interest in purchasing the Carolina Panthers surfaced over the weekend, Embiid tweeted to Panthers quarterback Cam Newton about a potential sport change.

ESPN's report on Rubin's interest mentions his close ties to Embiid, "Rubin's youth and personality are among the reasons he has grown close to some pro athletes, including 76ers center Joel Embiid. If Rubin bought the Panthers, he would have to sell his stakes in the 76ers, Devils and Crystal Palace, per NFL rules."

Embiid tweeted as such, noting Rubin as "my guy."

Aye that's my guy so looks like I might have to switch sports @CameronNewton you need a wide receiver?

Cam Newton responded with some interesting use of texts and emojis, basically saying "come play."

ßØ¥ DÜH wė Ł₩¥§ ©ån gėt bėttėr @JoelEmbiid

So there you have it. Expect Joel Embiid to head for the NFL next season. Just don't expect him to play on a Thursday night game following a Sunday game.

The Panthers even did a cute little mock up:

Joel Embiid could probably use a rest game

Joel Embiid could probably use a rest game

The Philadelphia 76ers lost to the Dwyane Wade-led Miami Heat for the second time in two games last night. Wade wasn't the sole deciding factor in this one -- he did have 16 and 6, including the game-sealing dunk in the final minute, but he was also a -5 for the night -- but the Heat didn't really need him to be, as this one slipped away from Philly midway through the fourth, and the Sixers were unable to get stops against Miami late, as they were closed out by a 35-point Miami fourth quarter and lost 108-99. 

There was plenty to be concerned about in this game, from Ben Simmons being shut down in the second half to Robert Covington not making a shot all game (0-10 FG, so much for Welcome Back) to the team's defense getting lit up from behind the arc (14-26 for Miami from deep). But really, if you watched this game as a Sixers fan, you probably left it with one thought overriding all others: Joel Embiid really needs a break. 

For the third straight Sixers contest, The Process played what could be considered his weakest game of the season. Embiid scored just 17 on 5-18 (!!) shooting, and his offense wasn't even the most troubling part -- his defense was routinely exploited, as he proved an ineffective deterrent at the rim (zero blocks or steals), was plagued by foul trouble (limited him to just 28 minutes) and one game after being run ragged by Dwight Howard in Charlotte was beaten up all night by rival center Hassan Whiteside (26 points on 8-12 FG). 

It's pretty clear at this point that Joel is not playing at 100%. Even his foul shooting, reliable all season, has begun badly receding -- just 58% over the last five games. He's not getting to the rim on post-ups, he's a step late on help assignments, even his trash-talking seems low-energy these days. And even though he protests that fatigue isn't a factor, it's getting more and more obvious that he needs a battery recharge pretty soon. 

Which is fair! Embiid has played in 53 of a possible 64 games so far -- a 68-game pace on the season, which is beyond what any of us could have possibly predicted for JoJo at season's beginning, when it seemed like a blessing that he'd even be ready for opening night. He's also played every game since the All-Star break -- nine games in just 15 days. For a guy who'd essentially played in 40 competitive games over the course of the previous four years, the work load is fairly unprecedented, and it's far from shocking that he's starting to hit something of a wall. 

The good news is that the Sixers are already all but guaranteed a playoff spot, and they have the luxury of starting to be able to pick and choose a little when they can steal JoJo a night off. A resounding 13 of the Sixers' final 18 games are against lottery-bound opponents, and though the team has four sets of back-to-backs remaining, they get at least one game in each of those sets where they should be able to rest Embiid and still be competitive (as previously pointed out by Derek Bodner of The Athletic.) 

It may hurt their ability to compete for home-court advantage in the playoffs -- which, based on the team's home/road splits in 2018, will be no small thing -- but as shown in last night's game, if Embiid's not at full strength, Philly doesn't stand much of a chance against anyone anyway. They might want to start Sunday night against the Nets, in the final matchup of the team's four-game road trip. Let Richaun Holmes duke it out with Jahlil Okafor for the night, and get JoJo raring to steal Victor Oladipo's Lunchables against the Pacers next Tuesday.