76ers’ Joel Embiid Responds To Fans’ Booing: “That’s Cool!”
The 76ers were riding a two-game winning streak amid locker room controversy prior to Tuesday’s home game against the Clippers when joel Embiid ran out to a mix of cheers and boos as he was announced in the starting lineup. The Philadelphia faithful had previously booed Embiid for two straight games before he jumped on social media with a cryptic message Monday night which seemed to represent his feelings towards the crowd’s recent treatment
Embiid posted a picture via Instaram of himself shushing the crowd following a three-pointer in the fourth quarter during Sunday’s home win against the Bulls with the caption, “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” #TheProcess. Former teammate Jimmy Butler replied, “I know a place where villains are welcome. [shrug emoji]”
Rumors swirled that Embiid was possibly considering joining Butler in Miami when he ended their back and forth with “Damn right my brother.”
Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler on Instagram 🍿 pic.twitter.com/bnmVDIKfdT
— ESPN (@espn) February 11, 2020
The 25-year-old center had a strong performance with 26 points and nine rebounds while leading his team to a 110-103 victory over the Clippers. On the Sixers’ first possession, he grabbed a rebound before scoring while being fouled and was waving his arms as he smiled asking the crowd for more noise.
He dominated Los Angeles in the paint holding their starting center Montrezl Harrell to 10 points and six rebounds. He also shot 13 free throws, the same amount the Clippers took as a team. On top of that he showed his scrappy side when he got tangled up by Marcus Morris and smacked his hand away before Morris gave him a shove resulting in both players getting technicals.
“We are both physical guys,” Morris said in the locker room postgame. “It was cool, man. He was just, like, wrapping arms and stuff like that. I ain’t going to say nothing because they like to fine me, so I am going to keep my mouth shut. It is what it is.”
Following the game, Embiid was asked if he expected to be booed in the game. “A little bit. But that’s cool. Tonight I could have shushed them again, but it was all about having fun again, getting back to myself. Like I said after last game, I’m back to doing whatever I want and saying whatever I want. That’s how I used to be, and you know, I was dominating that way. This year I made a decision to change, and I guess it hasn’t worked out, so it comes with the good and bad. If it helps us win, and if it helps me help the team in a better way to win games, then I’m going to be that guy.”
When asked what he thought of his performance and the fans’ harsh treatment, Embiid responded, “Felt great. They be going at me; I went back at them. We’re all human beings. If I can take it, then everyone else can take it too. So we move on, we learn from it, we move on. I gotta do a better job. They gotta do a better job. I understand where that comes from, but then again, if you dish it, you gotta be able to take it back. But at the end of the day, like I said in my location last night, it’s all love. I love my city. I been here for a long time now. We have a special relationship, and I’m happy to be here. I can’t wait for the future, especially this year. I think we can accomplish something great.”