NBA news: Philadelphia 76ers fans were given a rude awakening on Monday after a Joel Embiid quote went viral. In it, the reigning league MVP said that he wants to win a championship “whatever it takes,” regardless if “that’s in Philly or anywhere else.”
Suddenly, Embiid’s future with the Sixers was put into question as fans and experts alike asked whether or not the 29-year-old just hinted at his looming Philadelphia exit.
NBA News: Daryl Morey Downplays Joel Embiid’s Supposed Threat
Sixers president for basketball operations Daryl Morey has now broken his silence on this new saga. The high-ranking team executive was quick to play down Embiid’s comments. According to Morey, JoJo was merely kidding around:
“Yeah, he had some fun with that yesterday,” Morey said (h/t Noah Levick of NBC Sports Philadelphia). “That was a very Joel day yesterday.”
“He made those comments a bunch of days ago at sort of a semi-private event; they just got published. I spoke to him at length yesterday. He spoke to Coach Nurse yesterday. He’s very excited. Coach Nurse is planning to do some innovative things for training camp that Joel’s excited about.
Morey then turned a bit serious as he tried to add some context to Embiid’s startling comments:
“Look, part of it’s just, at the end of the day, he’s talking about the business of the NBA,” Morey said. “In his mind, he wants to win here. He wants to win it for Philly. That’s the only place he wants to win. He absolutely was referencing that it’s not totally in his control where he is at all times.”
Sixers fans can relax now. Joel Embiid isn’t going anywhere — at least according to Daryl Morey.
NBA News: Could Bucks Impact Joel Embiid’s Sixers Future?
Whatever way Morey tries to spin this, however, there’s still no denying that Embiid’s comments have prompted all sorts of questions about his future in Philadelphia. It adds more pressure on the team and on the organization to do everything they can to win a championship this coming season. Otherwise, Embiid might take his “joke” seriously.
On Monday, Robin M Adams of Wisconsin Sports Heroics published a piece about how the Milwaukee Bucks could potentially force Embiid out of Philly. In it, Adams points out that the Sixers will likely need to go through Milwaukee if they want to win a title. If Embiid and Co. end up losing against the Bucks in the playoffs — potentially in the Eastern Conference Finals — then it could be the final blow for the Sixers’ superstar big man.
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