After a 28-point, 12-rebound winning performance against the Chicago Bulls, center Joel Embiid took to Instagram to post about his struggles in Philadelphia.
The post was a picture of Embiid after he hit a big three-pointer against the Bulls, with a caption that said, “you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”
Jimmy Butler, who spent 55 games with Embiid, commented on the post and said, “I know a place where villains are welcome.”
The NBA world has basically let tampering become a normal thing. It used to be that free agency would start, and that’s when teams would be given the opportunity to convince players where to go. Now, by the time June 30th rolls around, the announcements are made almost immediately afterwards. Don’t be surprised if by some point in the future players are announcing their next time an hour after the NBA Finals end.
Embiid encapsulates Philadelphia. He is the cover-boy for tanking and what a slow process can lead to. Unfortunately for Embiid and the 76er fans, the process hasn’t fully paid off and has only resulted in disappointment.
Sure, this is only the third season of Embiid and Ben Simmons being fully healthy together and playing, but this is the new-age NBA we are talking about. Every season is a disappointment unless you’re bragging about owning the number one overall pick or hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy.
The 76ers are the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference with a record of 33-21. Many expected the 76ers to compete with the Milwaukee Bucks for home court advantage throughout the playoffs. Instead, the 76ers are fighting to remain relevant in a conference that will feature at least one team with a below .500 record.
Embiid is averaging 22.8 points and 12.0 rebounds per game, while Simmons is averaging 16.8 points, 7.9 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game this season. Both have been the subject of numerous trade rumors. This playoff run could be the end of “The Process” era.