Former NBA star Gilbert Arenas has never been one to be short on opinions. Whether it be via social media or his own podcast, he often puts his own spin on the happenings around the league. After the Philadelphia 76ers came up short in the NBA playoffs, Arenas has doubled down on his notion that Joel Embiid is lazy.
Joel Embiid Is “Lazy”, Says Former NBA Star Gilbert Arenas
There are plenty of Embiid critics this week. After winning a heated battle for the 2022-23 NBA MVP award, Embiid failed to lead his team over the hump in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. The Boston Celtics wound up victorious, and the 76ers now face an off-season of uncertainty.
"If [Joel Embiid's] that lazy, that he could win an MVP, that's how good he is… Compare his ability on the court to [Allen Iverson's]. How hard did AI play for Philadelphia, now wish that on Embiid."
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 17, 2023
Head coach Doc Rivers has been fired, and there is a good chance that James Harden opts out of his deal in order to seek greener pastures. But the constant that will certainly be around next season is Joel Embiid, and Arenas thinks that that is a problem for fans in Philadelphia.
On his podcast, Arenas said that there will be no completion of the “process” until someone tells him “you’re lazy.”
“That’s how lazy he is. If he’s that lazy and can win an MVP, that’s how good he is. Now I’ll say to a Philly fan, who played harder? Him or AI (Allen Iverson)? Now give him AI’s motor. That’s the kind of Embiid you should be looking for.”
Whether or not it is Embiid’s work ethic that is keeping his team from finally getting over the hump is debatable. There are plenty of other factors in the failures, and the team will look to correct some of them in the off-season.
But the MVP-winner’s performance has been lackluster when his team has needed him most. There were the team’s shortcomings in the playoffs before this season, and the Game 7 effort compounded the problems. Joel Embiid went just 5 for 18 from the field in the game and scored just 15 points. He was outscored on his own team by Tyrese Maxey.
Embiid’s poor performance came at the hands of Jayson Tatum’s record-setting night, in which the Boston Celtics forward scored 51 points. Tatum wasn’t one of the three finalists for MVP, but he was in the discussion for a good portion of the year, and certainly made his case after the award voting was wrapped up.
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