The wife of former Philadelphia 76ers general manager Bryan Colangelo played herself when she singled out Sixers center Joel Embiid in critical tweets sent from burner accounts. It also reflected terribly on Colangelo, who comes from a distinguished basketball affiliated family. Saying all those negative things about a 7-footer who plays with lion cubs and spent the past week taking part in various community outreach events honoring Nelson Mandelas legacy is suspect. How dare they?
Matthew Holding on Twitter
Joel Embiid playing with a lion cub is the best thing I have seen in 2018.
Any person of power who would use fake Twitter accounts to blast their own, winning players, is downright reprehensible. In this case, the action also has an undeniable and unavoidable racist undertone.
Instead of lashing back in anger, Sixers center Joel Embiid, who led Team Africa to a 96-92 loss to Team World in the third edition of the NBA Africa Game over the weekend, but bedazzled the crowd with game-high 24 points on 9 for 18 shooting to go with eight rebounds and four assists in the process, is using it as inspiration.
Embiid also showed off some sick handles while playing the point guard position. We are now witnessing the age of the #pointcenter. Lord help us.
NBA on ESPN on Twitter
Joel Embiid’s handles stretch across continents. https://t.co/XHf6zilJbD
Embiid is a center that can handle, pull up from deep, and execute an array of low moves, compliments of his idol Hakeem Olajuwon.
Drew Hanlen on Twitter
@JoelEmbiid has worked hard to master a lot of Hakeem Olajuwon’s moves! Two of the most skilled bigs ever! #pointcenter #puresweatfam https://t.co/zO5OOYztbR
No Colangelo can stop Embiids flow, but he did say that hes using the ordeal as ammunition to get the bag, crush the game and dismiss all unfounded rumors about deficiencies in his character or court passion.
During an interview with ESPN (h/t Pro Basketball Talk Dan Feldman), Embiid said the tweets by Barbara Bottini were “hurtful” but have led him to a renewed focus as he trains in the offseason:
“It was hurtful because of the stuff that was said in those tweets. But at the end of the day, I know who I am as a person, as a player. And I know a lot of people, they’re always telling me I’m great but I have a lot of stuff to work on. And actually, I appreciated everything that was said about me because if it was trueeven if it wasn’tthat stays in my mind. And it makes me want to get better. The stuff where they were saying I wasn’t happy, that makes me want to work harder on my body. Or if they’re saying that I couldn’t do anything, it makes me want to work harder and get better. So, actually, I love it. I appreciated it. It was great. It was great for my game.”
Every player needs a touch of inspiration and motivation. Its hard to justify an organization that praises you with one hand and then tries to slap a stain on your game with the other hand. The Sixers organization rid themselves of the disease and now can continue to rise in the East with Embiid, Ben Simmons and an array of young talent that has set the NBA on fire.