Joel Embiid thought he had an off night.
He had 28 points (8 of 17), 12 rebounds, five assists, four blocks and three steals. For a lot of NBA players, that would be a career night.
The entire Sixers team looked sluggish as Furkan Korkmaz’s second straight 30-plus point performance bailed them out in a 118-111 win over the Bulls Sunday (see observations).
To Embiid’s credit, his 12-point fourth quarter was big in putting Chicago away. His three with the shot clock winding down with 39 seconds left helped seal the game.
But what he did after he made the shot will be discussed much more.
JOEL HANS EMBIID pic.twitter.com/WMtw6UnsTb— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) February 10, 2020
This comes just two nights after Al Horford had a similar “celebration” after being booed.
There was also a strange liked tweet from Embiid about being booed during the pregame introductions against the Grizzlies on Friday. For the record, it didn’t sound like he was booed from the press section — the fans usually yell “Embiid” when he’s introduced, which some have mistaken for boos.
When asked about the gesture and what he appeared to say afterward, Embiid had a strange response.
Just talking to myself. I have not been playing up to my standards. Even tonight, you look at the night, I didn’t shoot the ball well and I didn’t play well. Just mad at myself. Just frustrated. Just got to keep trying to get better every single day.
Uh huh …
When pressed, he was still vague but offered a bit more.
I mean, I don’t care how it looks. I’m just playing basketball. Just getting back to myself, just being a good a--hole. Just playing basketball and just trying to dominate.
Embiid has had a strong relationship with Sixers fans since he arrived. Even as he missed his first two NBA seasons with a broken navicular bone, Embiid felt the love from the crowd and they in turn seemed to embrace the charismatic Cameroonian.
That’s what makes the whole thing so odd.
In any case, if Joel Embiid being a “good a—hole” leads to him playing good basketball, most Sixers fans will take it.
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