TNT analyst Charles Barkley called out Joel Embiid for being distracted in light of the Sixers big man losing the MVP award to Nikola Jokic.
In what many believe, Joel Embiid deserved the MVP award over Nikola Jokic this season. The Cameroon native has been the sole offensive engine of the Sixers on most nights, currently rehabbing from an orbital fracture and a ligament tear in his thumb.
Nonetheless, after missing the first 2-games against the Miami Heat, Embiid would return in the nick of time. The recently crowned scoring champion’s return instilled a new life in the Sixers team, who would win both Games Three and Four at home.
Though Embiid didn’t have big scoring nights, his mere presence on the court helped galvanize the troops. Not the scoring beast he once was, James Harden had an impressive performance in Game Four, leading the Philly team in the final quarter.
With Game Five shifting back to Miami, the Sixers looked rusty from the field. It was surprising to see Embiid lacking his usual aggression during the game. In what many believe, including Charles Barkley, this had a lot to do with The Joker winning the MVP.
Charles Barkley tells Joel Embiid to pull up his socks.
With the Heat taking a 3-2 lead in the series, former MVP Barkley seemed livid at Embiid for playing with a lack of aggression. The former Kansas player had 6-points in the first half on 2-for-6 shooting, not looking his usual self.
Chuck, who believed Embiid being rusty, had a lot to do with him not winning the MVP award, would deliver the following message to the seven-foot center.
“Joel Embiid is so distracted in my opinion by this MVP thing, he not there tonight, he got 6-points, but he’s not been aggressive, he’s throwing the ball away. When you’re mad about something, it can work both ways. It’s working the wrong way for Joel Embiid tonight.”
“When you’re mad about something, it can work both ways. It’s working the wrong way for Joel Embiid tonight.”
Chuck sounds off on Embiid’s first half performance in Game 5. pic.twitter.com/0vg0cspWaG
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 11, 2022
The Sixers looked displaced against the Heat, with the latter leading by as much as 30-points. While Barkley has the right to his opinion, one has to take into fact that Embiid hasn’t been 100% health-wise. Unfortunately, Embiid would take another blow to his face while trying to collect a rebound.
Joel Embiid went down after this contested rebound hit his face. He’s back on the floor for Philly. pic.twitter.com/8Ua3dVboOe
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 11, 2022
Despite sustaining an eye injury, a recent concussion, and a torn thumb, Embiid has shown us why he’s a soldier still being on the floor for his team.