Philadelphia 76ers superstar Joel Embiid plays with unchecked emotion. It’s the same way former Philadelphia 76ers superstar Charles Barkley comments on NBA action — unchecked and unfiltered. What Embiid couldn’t play with during the heartbreaking 7-game series loss against the Toronto Raptors was unchecked energy.
Embiid suffered from various ailments throughout the series, including some sort of stomach bug that had him miserable and unable to summon his customary energy. Barkley noted this, saying that Embiid was “draining the energy out of the room.”
[Barkley: “[Embiid] walks around like he’s on his death bed. He drains the energy out of that team…He’s walking by himself like he’s on his death bed… “]
Embiid was understandably unhappy about Barkley’s assessment of his effort and performance. But the genial big man was notably respectful in his disagreement, clearly stating he has “a lot of respect” for the commentators, especially Shaquille O’Neal. Embiid included Barkley in his respect, but said Barkley “doesn’t know what he’s talking about sometimes.” That sometimes is key — it’s part of Embiid’s respectful stance.
Barkley’s response defended his comments, while also giving Embiid huge respect, crediting him with the potential to be not only great, but “one of the greatest ever.”
Barkley: “And then when they play like crap and we call them out, we don’t know what we’re talking about. Listen, I’m easy to find. I’ve always said he’s a hell of a player. If he can stay healthy, he’s going to be one of the greatest ever. If he can stay healthy, the verdict’s still out on that.”