Joel Embiid has been in spectacular, MVP-like form all through this season, and he credits Shaq and Charles Barkley for motivating him.
Embiid is having an unreal season for the Philadelphia 76ers. It has been a long time since we’ve seen a traditional post player dominate the NBA like this. Embiid is putting entire defensive schemes into disarray with his game-breaking ability to score from all 3 areas.
What makes Embiid even more valuable is his robust defensive presence. The Cameroonian is always playing defense at an All-Defensive team member, capable of patrolling the paint like few other centers.
NBA teams couldn’t stop Wilt and Shaq, so they fouled them. That doesn’t work on Joel Embiid. https://t.co/1BgPLX6Z26
— Ben Cohen (@bzcohen) April 23, 2021
Shaq once said that an elite center would average 29 points and 12 rebounds in some season of his career. Well, Embiid
Joel Embiid thanks Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley for motivating him
Embiid has been catching a lot of criticism for his conditioning and mentality since after his official rookie season. He’d displayed all the skills he’s showing this year – what was missing was consistency in his performances.
Jojo realizes this, which is why he says he has a lot of love for the Inside crew. Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley have both displayed some tough love to the 27-year-old in the past.
“When all those guys, Shaq, Charles Barkley, they just kept talking about how dominant I could be, I understood. They saw the talent. They saw what I could really do. But I wasn’t using it. I wasn’t doing it. So when they were criticizing me, I just saw it as a way to kinda open my eyes and actually be better.”
“So instead of using it as criticism, I just took it to want to be better. So when I look back, when that was going on, I have nothing but love for Shaq. Because whatever they were saying, it just opened my eyes to actually realize that I can be that guy.”