Bayless blasts the NBA’s refereeing standards in the modern era, comparing how Shaq was treated to how Joel Embiid is being called today.
The Philadelphia 76ers recently won the crucial Game 6 against the Atlanta Hawks 99-104 to level the series. The Sixers should have been through to the Eastern Conference finals but they have been poor in finishing games. Philly were in complete control in Game 5 aswell but they allowed the Hawks to come back into the game.
A large part of their positive play is dependant on their big man center Joel Embiid. He has been a phenom for the Sixers throughout the season despite not getting much help from the supporting cast.
Ben Simmons who is considered the second best player in this team is going through a rough patch. Hence the onus of carrying the offense has fallen on Embiid’s shoulders.
He was superb in the regular season aswell averaging 28.5 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. Embiid’s performances were such that some experts had him in the MVP conversations. However, then he got injured and as a result, the 27-year-old could only feature in 51 matches this season.
The big man plays with great athleticism and panache and hence he is often compared with Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal. His defensive prowess and ability to come up with blocks often brings up the comparison.
“Shaq wouldn’t have lasted long in this league if he’d been called like Joel Embiid”: Skip Bayless
Over the years basketball has evolved a lot. During Shaq’s time, the league was more aggressive and players got away with a lot of things that they won’t today.
The 3-time NBA Finals MVP was known for his aggression and his ferocity with which he travelled to the rim. There are shades of Shaq’s play in Embiid and hence a lot of experts have also felt that way.
If they had called offensive fouls on Shaq like they just called on Embiid, Shaq wouldn’t have lasted long in the league.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) June 19, 2021
However, Embiid being in the modern generation is a lot better shooter from behind the arc. He is also a better free throw shooter than the Lakers legend. But comparing the players and their generations NBA expert Skip Bayless made some comments on Twitter.
Bayless wrote, “If they had called offensive fouls on Shaq like they just called on Embiid, Shaq wouldn’t have lasted long in the league.” The NBA Analyst was brutal with his assessment of Shaq but the generations are way too different. However one may agree that the referees have been a little too harsh on Embiid these days.
For now, the Sixers need their talismanic center to step up again on Game 7 against the Hawks. Coach Doc Rivers would also like to see Ben Simmons back at his best. The Sixers have shown enough hustle and they will aim to progress to the Conference finals.