76ers Joel Embiid declares anything less than NBA Finals win “frickin’ wasted time”
Joel Embiid has made it clear that anything less than winning an NBA Championship this season would be a total failure.
In a recent article from ESPN about the 76ers’ failed attempts to build a championship team around the perennial MVP candidate, Embiid reflected on his ultimate goal.
Joel Embiid called anything less than a Finals victory a “frickin’ wasted time.”
“The whole notion of getting to the first round, second round, conference finals, Finals, that don’t matter,” Embiid said. “If you don’t win it all, it doesn’t matter why you lost. It probably makes it even worse … you feel like you just frickin’ wasted time.
“‘Congrats, you made it to the conference finals. Congrats, you made it to the Finals.’ Did you win anything? Nope.”
Obviously, as Philadelphia 76ers fans, it’s hard to argue with Embiid on this one. As his contemporaries push deep into the playoffs and notch title wins, he remains stymied in the second round.
There’s a lot of blame to go around about why the Sixers have fallen short of the Finals for the past five years and honestly, the ESPN article should come with a trigger warning for Sixers fans. The Kawhi “Quadruple Bounce” (travel), Ben Simmons mental breakdown against the Hawks (soft), and the Al Horford Experience (gross) are all mentioned at length.
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Newly acquired Sixer PJ Tucker opens the article explaining how the Heat guarded Embiid during last year’s playoffs. He made it clear that opponents view stopping Joel Embiid as the key factor in beating the 76ers.
PJ Tucker on Joel Embiid
“Every day [we work on] ways to combat everything he does,” Tucker said. “And me guarding him now and trying to help him out, understand the reads of what people want to do, that’s what it’s about.
“It’s knowing that, and being ready for it all.”
Side Note: Of course PJ leaves out the fact that Joel Embiid was playing with a broken face, a torn ligament in his thumb, as well as a possible concussion when he was guarding him last year in the playoffs. Those factors definitely hindered his abilities, but I digress.
Over the past two years, Daryl Morey has made countless moves to improve the cast of players around the All-Star center. Now, the Sixers arguably have the best roster of the Joel Embiid era.
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With all the proper pieces in place, the clock is ticking for the Sixers to make a legitimate run at the NBA title. Only time will tell if this year will be when the finally get over the hump, or more “frickin’ wasted time.”
The Philadelphia 76ers are back at the Wells Fargo Center tonight for their home opener against the Milwaukee Bucks. Check out tonight’s preview, betting odds, and predictions here.
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY SPORTS