Hall of Famer Rips Into Sixers Big Man: ‘He’s Done’

DeAndre Jordan

Getty Images Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers with DeAndre Jordan.

Former Philadelphia 76ers star and Hall of Famer Charles Barkley ripped into veteran big man DeAndre Jordan after his poor showing in Game 1 against the Miami Heat.

Sixers skipper Doc Rivers made the controversial decision to insert Jordan into the starting lineup with MVP candidate Joel Embiid sidelined. While there were a variety of reasons why Philly couldn’t keep up during the 106-92 Game 1 loss, Jordan didn’t help and looked a step behind on both ends of the court.

Barkley did not hold back when discussing how Jordan fits in for the Sixers.

“DeAndre needs to be sitting over there beside Doc Rivers and those guys. It’s over for DeAndre. He’s had a hell of a career, but he can’t play, especially in today’s NBA. In today’s NBA, if you can’t move, it’s very difficult for you,” Barkley said while appearing on Inside the Green Room Podcast with Danny Green. “Big guys who can’t move can’t play in today’s NBA game, and that’s not fair for DeAndre to put himself out there.”

The Heat have a talented big in Bam Adebayo, although Jordan is not quick enough to keep up with him. Barkley thinks the best solution for Philadelphia is to go small and turn it into a track meet.

“The thing is, Miami’s not an overly big team,” Barkley said. “They really only have one big guy. So I would turn it into a track meet, a shooting contest, I think that’s the only way the Sixers can win. They’re not going to get killed on the boards, because other than Bam Adebayo, they don’t have a bunch of big guys… I think that’s the only chance the Sixers got until Joel comes back.”


Rivers Defends Decision to Start Jordan

Rivers tinkered with his lineup in Game 1, trying to find something that stuck. Despite that, Rivers doubled down on his decision to start Jordan and said he’ll continue to do so.

“We just felt like … we talked to our guys,” Rivers told reporters. “They wanted a big guy, a big roller. I thought in the second half, that’s how he has to play every night. Those first four, five minutes (of the third quarter) were great from him. That’s what we need. We also love Paul (Reed), but we don’t need Paul in foul trouble and that’s why you don’t want to start him.

“We like DJ. We’re going to keep starting him whether you like it or not. That’s what we’re going to do, because our guys believe in him. It’s funny, at halftime we asked our key guys, because we were thinking about it — because I thought Paul Millsap gave us some decent minutes. And to a man, that’s where they wanted to go.”

Jordan finished minus-22 in 17 minutes with 4 points and 2 rebounds.


Embiid Feeling Better, Eyeing Game 3 Return

Embiid suffered a concussion and fractured orbital bone in his left eye in the Sixers’ series-clinching win against Toronto. The Sixers are hoping Embiid can return to the court at some point in their series against the Heat, with the team looking at him returning in either Game 3 or 4.

Rivers shared an optimistic update on Embiid during Tuesday’s practice, although he stopped himself from saying too much to not give “false hope.”

“I know he did something yesterday, but not much, and I know he’s feeling a lot better,” Rivers said “I don’t want to give false hope either. So I’ll just stop there.”

 

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