According to a report from Howard Eskin, Sixers rookie Joel Embiid has been fined by the team for missing multiple rehab sessions this year.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>I have been told <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/sixers?src=hash">#sixers</a> no. 1 pick Joel Embiid fined thousands of dollars this season 4 being late and missing multiple rehab sessions.</p>— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) <a href="https://twitter.com/howardeskin/status/589419949774348288">April 18, 2015</a></blockquote>
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While I'm inclined to believe the validity of this report, the timing of it is what doesn't make any sense. It feels as though we're sort of regurgitating old news that at this point really has no bearing on Embiid nor the team going forward.
Back in January, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inqurier wrote about the 21-year-old's poor work ethic, and a blow up with the training staff that had the team send him home from their road trip. At this point in the year, Embiid still wasn't cleared to practice as he recovered from his foot injury, and still trying to cope with the loss of his younger brother Arthur. These aren't excuses for his actions, but that's more than enough for a regular person to deal with, let alone a professional athlete constantly under the spotlight.
Brett Brown admitted earlier this week that the Cameroonian big man had been difficult at times, but turned a corner once he was able to get on the court. CSN Philly's Dei Lynam has more:
"When he started going to the court, his world changed," Brown said. "He had his spirit again, and things got a little bit easier. I don't begrudge Joel or Nerlens — they're 20-year olds. It is my job to coach them and build a culture. That is what we experienced this year, but we will be better off for it, like we saw with Nerlens, when [Embiid] is a playing member of the Philadelphia 76ers."
From even short Vines and Instagram videos, the difference was noticeable. He has looked lean yet strong, anddrenched in sweat from one-on-one workouts with Sixers coach Curtis Sumpter. If people ever questioned his commitment at the start of the year, he's done quite the job of shutting them up recently.
Which brings us back to Eskin's report. Embiid may have been fined at one point, but the only logical explanation was that it was around the time of Pompey's article in January. This news coming to light now is unfortunate, only because it gives the organization's detractors something new to talk about, despite its irrelevance.
Some media members may not have moved on from Embiid's early season issues, but I can guarantee you Joel and the team did a long time ago.