Joel Embiid Responds to Narrative He’s Ducking the Best Teams

Ducking Joel Embiid

NBA Media personalities and fans alike have suggested that Joel Embiid is purposely ducking games against the best teams and the big man has addressed the notion directly.

“I don’t know where that came from,” Embiid said after the 76ers’ 124-115 win over the Rockets on Monday. “That’s funny because every single team that I play against, I think I dominated and we win and I put up numbers necessary to win. I think that’s why you can’t read too much into it, because one of the main things that I see is that as soon as you use the name, ‘Joel Embiid’, that’s gonna get you a lot of likes, and that’s gonna get you a lot of money. So as long as my name has a chance to help somebody make some money, then I’m for it. Keep trolling. I like it. I love it.”

The reigning MVP missed three straight games for Philly with a knee injury, but returned in fine form against Houston after notching 41 points on 12-21 shooting and ten rebounds.

The problem is, he has missed a fair bit of time this season already due to various ailments including the flu and an ankle injury.

An NBA player must play in at least 65 games to qualify for an end-of-season award, meaning he can only miss eight more games out of the last 44 before he is no longer eligible for MVP.

But Embiid says he is more focused on where he side will be come playoffs.

“I’ve already done it,” Embiid said. “If I have a chance to get a second one, I’ll do it. I’m not going to force myself or push for it. My game is always going to speak for itself. We’re winning. That’s the main thing. We’ve got to keep winning and you put in the stats to be in the [MVP] conversation that’s great, too. But at the end of the day, if there’s something going on, and I can’t meet the requirement for the amount of games played to qualify for that, then so be it.”

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One game he isn’t ducking is against Denver on Tuesday, where he will be going up against fellow MVP-caliber center Nikola Jokic.

“They’re best team in the league, best player in the league and we’ve got to try and do our best to get a win,” Embiid said of the Nuggets. “It’s fun. I like the competition. Who doesn’t want to play against the best?”

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