I said it a few weeks ago, during Joel Embiid’s run of awesome play, and nobody believed me: Joel Embiid is Linsanity all over again. An exciting run of success, led by a dynamic player, for a team that had been terrible for a long time. And after about two weeks, it was over forever.
Who ruined Embiidsanity? It was the Sixers, who have showed so much contempt for the fans that I haven’t been able to enjoy any of their 21 wins. Bryan Colangelo’s arrogance is almost enough to make me miss the days when they were planning to lose forever under Sam Hinkie.
So how did it all go to hell? Here are my two conspiracy theories:
1. Joel Embiid was never injured at all, and the Sixers are holding him out in order to secretly tank for a fourth year, and also avoiding paying him whatever bonus money he’d have made from the All-Star Game. Embiid proved it, by dancing at a concert this weekend at the team’s arena despite being too “injured” to play. In our arena! Our sacred arena! When Andrew Bynum went bowling, at least he didn’t do it in the middle of the Wells Fargo Center.
2. Embiid is injured much more severely than the Sixers are admitting, even beyond the alleged “bone bruise” and “knee contusion.” But because this team is so soft, they won’t take off the bubble wrap and they're intent on defrauding the fans, we’ll never know.
Which one’s true? Probably both.
Embiid must play, again, right now, and Ben Simmons must, too, and I don’t care what any MRI, X-ray, or EKG says. If they’re in a little bit of pain, so what? There’s absolutely no scientific evidence that holding injured players out of games makes them healthier.
Obviously, the Sixers just want us to pay them our money and shut up. But we won’t have it, not in this town. Whatever pain Embiid has in his knee or Simmons has in his foot pales in comparison to the pain of us as fans, having to sit through four years of this tanking charade.
Other Philly sports takes:
- Since he’s going to be traded at any moment, what was your favorite Jahlil Okafor moment in Philadelphia? Much as I enjoyed the fighting arrest, the fake ID arrest, the time he entered a game and forgot to take his shirt off and all the times his dad threatened people on Twitter, I’ll always appreciate that when he was arrested for doing over 100 on the Ben Franklin Bridge, he was going towards Philadelphia, as opposed to away from it. Take that as a lesson, Josh Huff.
- Anyway, I’m okay with any Okafor trade, as long as it’s not for draft picks. Enough with the damn draft picks.
- The Charles Oakley Knicks story made me wonder: Why don’t retired athletes for Philadelphia teams ever show up at games and physically confront the owners? You just know Charles Barkley has been tempted to go after Josh Harris. What’s the point of the Phillies finally having a single owner if Lenny Dykstra or Mitch Williams can’t get into an irrational feud with him? And aren’t there 25 different players the Eagles pushed out in contract disputes who are eager to come to the Linc and take a shot at Jeffrey Lurie?
- Speaking of Eagles who were pushed out the door too soon… No Terrell Owens or Brian Dawkins in the Hall of Fame? I blame Donovan McNabb for both.
- I’m not sad Matt Ryan lost the Super Bowl. He may be from here, but why isn’t Ryan as vocal about his local heritage as, say, Mike Trout? Why don’t we ever see Ryan in the crowd at the Linc? Why doesn’t he ever vacation with Eagles players like Trout does?
- Phillies spring training? When Mike Trout reports to Clearwater, I’ll be interested. Until then…
- The Eagles released Leodis McKelvin. You may not have liked him here, but just wait until he’s a key contributor on next year’s championship Patriots team.
- In order to shore up their receiving corps, the Eagles should sign Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Kenny Stills and Terrelle Pryor. All those guys, behind Paul Turner, should give Carson Wentz plenty of targets.
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