After blowing a 26-point lead against the Atlanta Hawks, Joel Embiid wasn't interested in talking with the press on Wednesday night. The Philadelphia 76ers' big man skipped the media following Game 5 of their second-round series, which didn't sit well around the community.
Sixers legend Charles Barkley was one of those who didn't like Embiid's attitude. He called him out on national TV, reminding him that NBA players get paid so much money because networks like TNT and ESPN pay the league a lot of money (9:24).
“I wanna say this one thing and I’m not mad, I wanna say this about Joel Embiid. I think he’s a great player and a good kid, but I don’t like it when players don’t talk to the press.”
“Cuz if you have a great game, you run to the microphone. I don’t like it when any player in any sport does this, you should always talk to the press. Because they’re not paying you $35 million to just play basketball.”
“The reason those guys are making that money is that TNT and ESPN, we’re paying them a lot of money. I think these guys do have a responsibility. You know, these guys get all bent out of shape.”
Chuck said he was disappointed with Embiid for skipping the press conference. He adds that JoJo could have wrapped things up taking the responsibility as Doc Rivers did, and that was it.
“Listen, you should say ‘Hey, you know what, we let one get away’ like Doc Rivers said after Game 4. I would love to see Joel Embiid say ‘You know what, I’ll take responsibility, I’m the best player on this team.”
“Like I said, I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed. You don’t get to talk to the press just when you win. I don’t like that.”
To be fair, it was a rough night for Embiid. He and Seth Curry tried to keep the Sixers' advantage over the Hawks, but it was basically two against five in the second half. As Shaquille O'Neal said, sometimes you don't feel like talking, especially after losing a game the way they did.
Now the Sixers will travel to Atlanta for Game 6 in a do-or-die scenario for them.