Damian Lillard Questions Joel Embiid’s Comments After Sixers Elimination

Joel Embiid

Getty Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers

Following the elimination of the Philadelphia 76ers at the hands of the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Sixers superstar Joel Embiid talked about the Sixers as a team having to do better in the playoffs during his postgame press conference.

“Me and James, we can’t win alone. That’s why basketball is played 5-on-5. We just need everybody to keep finding ways to be better, and we’ll be fine,” Embiid said.

Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard openly questioned Embiid’s comments after they went viral.

Lillard appears to be questioning Embiid’s request for the team overall to be better as a unit after being eliminated by the Sixers’ division rival. Though the Sixers lost as a team in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Embiid did not play well in what was the most important game of the season.

In 38 minutes of action, Embiid put up 15 points on five-for-18 shooting from the field to go along with four turnovers and one assist.

Doc Rivers Sarcastically Knocks Joe Mazzulla

After his postgame press conference, Sixers head coach Doc Rivers knocked Joe Mazzulla in a sarcastic fashion while talking with Steve Bulpett of Heavy Sports.

“Joe was dumb two weeks ago,” Rivers said to Heavy Sports with all due sarcasm. “I told you that. Now he’s in the conference finals. Look, Joe’s doing a terrific job. When we were making shots and playing well, that wasn’t on Joe. It was never Joe. It’s always that you’ve got to execute and you’ve got to play well, and it’s a make-miss league. I don’t think there was an issue on either side. One team beat the other team. That’s what happens.

“I thought Joe did a great job, a great job.”

Rivers added that, with the most recent coach’s firings as references, doing a good job isn’t always enough, but the possibility of being replaced comes with the territory.

“I mean, Bud has a .693 winning percentage and won a title two years ago, and he’s unemployed. Monty, to me, changed their entire franchise. Forget the coaching part. Monty changed their complete franchise. That franchise was a laughingstock, and because they get blown out … I guess he was supposed to, I don’t know. I don’t know what he was supposed to do. They made a trade that I think will be a good trade in the long run, but probably not in the short run, and Monty got blamed for that.

“But when I talk to coaches — young coaches — in the summer, I tell them one thing: we sign up for it, and it’s part of it. It’s the worst part of our jobs, but it’s part of our jobs, and there’s nothing we can do about it. It’s always easier to replace one.”

Joel Embiid, James Harden Called ‘Gutless’ After Game 7

Following their performances in Game 7, The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Marcus Hayes called Embiid’s and Harden’s performances “gutless,” criticizing them for failing to show up when the Sixers needed them most.

“In the biggest game of Embiid’s career, and possibly the last relevant game of Harden’s, they showed up like the Tin Man before he met Oz. They left their heart back in Philly,” Hayes wrote.

Hayes asked how exactly will they approach next season – should Harden stay with the Sixers – after the performance they had.

“Now, do they dare show their faces in Philly again?” he wrote. “Can they, in good conscience, present themselves for the 2023-24 season, in which they will earn a combined $90 million?”