Joel Embiid made headlines for all the wrong reasons with his recent comments regarding his new role with the Philadephia 76ers, particularly since they added superstar Jimmy Butler to the team. Embiid’s comments have made the center appear frustrated with the team, which has adjusted to a new style in order to make the most of what Butler brings to the Sixers, according to a report by Sixers Wire.
While speaking to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Embiid took some time to open up about how the culture of the team has shifted since the addition of Butler, saying, “I haven’t been myself lately. I think it’s mainly because of the way I’ve been used, which is I’m being used as a spacer, I guess, a stretch five, which I’m only shooting  percent” from three-point range.
Embiid went on to detail how the new setup of the team has caused him some frustration, saying, “But it seems like the past couple games, like with the way I play, our setup, always has me starting on the perimeter… and it just really frustrates me. My body feels great, and it’s just I haven’t been playing well.”
Embiid’s comments caught the ear of Sixers fans who have expectations for Philadelphia to be competing for the NBA Championship. With backlash growing, Embiid reached out to Pompey to provide some clarity to what he said, with the writer saying, “Embiid stressed that he’s not upset with the trade,” and that he is actually “just upset with his performance,” according to a report by the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Butler has previously addressed the comments made by Embiid, revealing that he can understand Embiid’s perspective — as he, himself, has had to make similar adjustments to his game in order to make room for the addition of talented teammates, according to a separate report by the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Butler made clear in his response that he expects this transitional period to be brief, as the team learns how to gel. Once the talented pair manage more time together on the court, Butler claims that they will be ready to live up to their expectations — once the playoffs begin.
The 76ers had the weekend off after defeating the Detroit Pistons 117-111 on Friday. Embiid was held out of the game due to fatigue. While the chemistry of the team may need improvement, they currently sit in the third spot in the Eastern Conference. The 76ers hold an 18-9 record, having won eight of their last 10 games. They have managed a 9-3 record since Butler joined the team.