“As a star player, you can never show weakness,” says Charles Barkley, the Hall of Fame NBA forward and 1993 NBA MVP. Barkley and his TNT studio mate Shaquille O’Neal, also a Hall of Famer and the 2000 NBA MVP, think 76ers star Joel Embiid is falling woefully short on his duties as an NBA star.
O’Neal points out that Embiid averaged 28 points per game during the regular season, with Philadelphia surging into the playoffs on his play. But Embiid is averaging ten fewer points per game in the NBA playoffs. Barkley and O’Neal assert that for a true NBA star it’s supposed to go the other way. Authentic stars rise during the playoffs.
Embiid has some excuses for his play. He has been ill, and played Game 5 against the Toronto Raptors after having been diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection. So what, say the unsympathetic Barkley and O’Neal. Embiid is suited up and he has to perform. Barkley says it’s worse than just Embiid’s failing to score and grab a sufficient number of rebounds. He thinks Embiid’s attitude is killing the team.
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] complains so much about being sick he drains the energy out of the room.” Basketball is a game played on high energy. Game 6 is Thursday in Philadelphia.
“If you want people to remember The Process forever, you’ve got to step up.”
Shaq & Chuck share their concerns with Joel Embiid pic.twitter.com/KEugaVqAik
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 8, 2019