Joel Embiid on Sixers Fans ‘They Want to Trade Me’

Joel Embiid, Sixers

Getty Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts against the Houston Rockets during the first half at Toyota Center on December 05, 2022 in Houston, Texas.

It has been a turbulent start to the season for the Philadelphia 76ers. Now 26 games into the season, the Sixers hold a record of 14-12 and sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference. The notable injuries to Joel Embiid, James Harden, and Tyrese Maxey have prevented the team from hitting its stride and from building the necessary chemistry to grow into the championship contender they desire to be. Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports sat down with Embiid following a recent Sixers practice to discuss the start of the season.

When asked by Fischer his thoughts on the portion of the Sixers fan base which has already hit the panic button in the season, Embiid replied “I don’t know. Sixers fans, they want to trade me.” Fischer added that he followed this with a laugh and a grin although when pushed back that he didn’t actually believe that comment Embiid went on to say, “I do believe that. They want to trade me.”

‘Troel Embiid’ Back at it Again?

While there will always a very small minority of the fanbase that is ready to blow things up and trade Embiid, this is far from the true pulse of the fans. Embiid embodies an era of Sixers basketball and embraces the city of Philadelphia in a way that few players ever could. He has been through a ridiculous amount of roster, coaching, and front-office turnover as well as a massive amount of on and off-the-court controversies during his nine seasons with the franchise.

Amid all these obstacles and challenges, Embiid has grown into a superstar-caliber player beyond what anyone could have imagined. He is coming off back-to-back seasons in which he finished as the MVP runner-up and is back to his elite level of play to start this season. Beyond establishing himself as the best player on the Sixers, he has played himself into the shortlist of premier talents across the NBA.

It also should not be noted the fun-loving nature of Embiid’s personality. While he has come a long way in his maturity since coming into the NBA, this is still the same guy who spent his first few seasons in the league shooting his shot at Kim Kardashian and Rihanna as well as recruiting LeBron James to Philadelphia. He also still currently has ‘Joel “Troel” Embiid’ as his name on Twitter.

The interview continues to give some brilliant insight into Embiid’s mindset as the season progresses. His main message is that this season is a work in progress and that the end goal is to be ready when the postseason begins. The superstar believes he has come a long way in his ability to process the game and is excited to put it on full display when it matters most. Embiid also showed off a handshake with Maxey, talked some trash-talk with P.J. Tucker, and gave a better look into his outlook as a whole. The rest of the interview can be read here.

Embiid’s On-Court Play

After an uninspiring start to the season, Embiid has more than turned things around. Through the opening 18 games he has played this season, he is averaging 33.4 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.6 blocks, and 1.1 steals per game. The five-time All-Star has been especially key to navigating the shorthanded stretch without Harden and Maxey.

In recent games, Embiid has shown an improved level of play defensively while leading the NBA in scoring. He is the only player in the league to have multiple 50-point performances this season and his 33.4 points per game narrowly edge out Luka Doncic (33.1 points per game) as the highest scorer in the league.

With over two-thirds of the season still yet to be played, the Sixers still have a ways to go before accomplishing their goals. The return of Maxey is looming which will provide the team with another key boost to the offense. Perhaps even more notably it will give the Sixers a chance to develop the necessary chemistry to reach their ceiling as a team. The NBA is about getting hot at the right time and, while it has not been a perfect start, there is still plenty of time for this to occur. This starts with Embiid and the superstar has made it clear he is bought into the mindset moving forward.

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