Joel Embiid ‘cool’ with 76ers fans booing him: ‘It’s all love’
Joel Embiid was booed by Philadelphia 76ers fans packed inside Wells Fargo Center before and during Tuesday night’s game, and the superstar acknowledged afterward he anticipated such a response in light of his antics earlier in the week.
Ahead of a showdown with the Los Angeles Clippers, Embiid was first subjected to jeers during pregame introductions.
Sixers fans booed Embiid during his intro pic.twitter.com/6c1ULOb9hT— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 12, 2020
Things did not get much better early on in the game, either.
Embiid embracing the boos in Philly pic.twitter.com/s2rUU3c6wA— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 12, 2020
The 76ers did go on to beat the Clippers by a score of 110-103, and Embiid reacted to the harsh reception afterward.
“A little bit,” Embiid said when asked if he expected to be booed, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “But that’s cool.”
Embiid went on to take a pragmatic view of the entire situation.
“I understand where that comes from, but then again, if you dish it, you gotta be able to take it back,” Embiid said. “But at the end of the day, like I said in my location last night, it’s all love. I love my city. I been here for a long time now — we have a special relationship, and I’m happy to be here. I can’t wait for the future, especially this year. I think we can accomplish something great.”
The disconnect between Embiid and his usually supportive fans is hardly surprising. The superstar rankled the Sixers faithful by shushing them during Sunday’s game. He added fuel to the fire by later sharing an Instagram post about the incident, in which he alluded to himself as a “villain.”
The post in question then elicited controversial social media banter between Embiid and former Sixers teammate and current Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler.
Amid all this noise comes word that the Sixers are said to be contemplating a potential trade of Embiid should he fail to gel with Ben Simmons. While such chatter is merely speculative at this point, the fact that Embiid arguably alienated Sixers fans only adds another element to the situation.