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A quick look at Joel Embiid’s Game 7 postgame comments

The MVP had an abysmally lackluster performance in Game 7, and Sixers fans may not be too thrilled with what he had to say afterwards.

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics - Game Seven Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers went out in embarrassing fashion on Sunday, falling to the Boston Celtics in a 112-88 rout in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

The Sixers’ performance — if you can even call it that — was capped off by a dreadful night by their star and the NBA’s 2022-23 MVP, Joel Embiid. Embiid had just 15 points on 5-for-18 shooting and four turnovers in the contest that ended the Sixers’ season.

Embiid sat down with reporters postgame. After a game like that, there was probably nothing Embiid could have said that would have been satisfactory to disappointed Sixers fans... but he still really didn’t help himself at some points in this press conference. Let’s take a look at some excerpts. Keep in mind this is not his entire press conference, just pieces. The full interview can be found here:

On the Sixers’ season overall:

Completely fair. Season means nothing if you can’t step up when it matters.

On if mental toughness is the missing ingredient for the Sixers:

It wasn’t meant to be? This isn’t a breakup with a high school girlfriend. This is a Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals that only had to be played because your team couldn’t close it out in Game 6. Embiid’s point about shots not falling is completely accurate, but it would be a lot better received if not for the “wasn’t meant to be” addition.

On James Harden:

This quote, especially just after the two combined for 24 points on 8-for-29 shooting, is painful. Taken at face value, it seems as though Embiid is completely throwing the rest of the Sixers squad under the bus. Now, of course, this quote is making the rounds on Twitter and garnering a lot of attention and anger from Sixers’ fans. It’s understandable, really. However, the full quote is a bit more revealing:

So, as angry as I was too when I first read just the initial excerpt, it sounds more like Embiid was just trying to deflect all the blame/questioning regarding Harden that was being thrown at him. All in all, probably not the best answer after this specific performance, but not as egregious as the excerpt would make it seem.

On Doc Rivers:

This one will probably get a lot of attention with the amount of people speculating on the job security of head coach Doc Rivers after yet another second round exit for the Sixers. As noted, heavy hitting coaches like Mike Budenholzer and Monty Williams are now available, so it’s something to keep an eye on as the Sixers’ offseason gets underway.

What he was thinking in final minutes of Game 7/postgame:

That is a lot better. Sure, talk is cheap. That’s another issue entirely that will no doubt be discussed ad nauseam in the coming weeks. But at least there’s some accountability taken here. This is probably the attitude that Embiid should have led with and stuck with throughout the press conference, especially after such a rough game for him personally. Better late than never, I suppose, but may have been too little, too late for some fans.

Again, important to remember that just because a specific quote excerpt goes viral, it doesn’t mean it’s the whole story. Case and point being the Harden excerpt. That being said, some of these answers, isolated or in their entirety, may leave many Sixers’ fans with a sour taste in their mouths.

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