Philadelphia 76er's post melts social media
THE wheels might finally be about to fall off on the Philadelphia 76ers' 2019-20 season.
Issues have continually plagued the team that many expected to be among the genuine NBA title contenders this season.
Troubles on the court with spacing have been magnified by players delivering pot shots and voicing their anger through the media.
One player in particular who has been more vocal is All-Star big man Joel Embiid, who has time and again let it be known he isn't happy with how things are unfolding on the hardwood.
Offensively the troubles have been glaring for the Sixers, and in early January Embiid delivered a not-so-subtle shot at fellow All-Star teammate Ben Simmons.
"We've got to help each other even if it means being outside of your comfort zone for the greater (good) to help the team win," Embiid said.
"Meaning that, if you've got to space and shoot it, you've got to do it. We need everybody to buy into that and we'll be fine, we're going to be fine."
Ahead of the trade deadline the issues resurfaced following the third straight road loss for the side - a drubbing at the hands of Eastern Conference rivals the Miami Heat.
"I have sacrificed a lot trying to make everybody feel comfortable, and that's normal," Embiid said.
"We all got to sacrifice and if it means taking less shots just to make sure everybody is happy and we keep winning, that's what we got to do.
"I got to spend a lot of time at the three-point line just to make sure there's some spacing. Everybody keeps saying, 'Get in the post!' but if you actually understand basketball, you've got to find that balance."
But as questions surrounding the teams NBA championship credentials grow, Embiid has done nothing to help slow down the backlash. His latest upload actually pours fuel on the fire.
The photo, captioned with "you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain. #TheProcess", is spicy enough, but it's in the comments where things really went up a notch.
Former 76ers player and now Miami Heat superstar Jimmy Butler responded to the post: "I know a place where villains are welcome" along with a shrug emoji.
Butler was slugged as being the villain in the 76ers' locker room during the 2018-19 season before departing for Miami and lifting the Heat into the contender race this season.
Embiid then decided to douse the flame with his response of "Damn right my brother".
The interaction quickly whipped around social media with basketball fans struggling to comprehend exactly what Embiid was thinking.
Joel Embiid trolling his fan base is an interesting choice.— Zack Rosenblatt (@ZackBlatt) February 11, 2020
The 76ers sit fifth in the Eastern Conference standings, two games behind the fourth-placed Miami Heat.
After a four-game losing streak on the road, the 76ers have bounced back to win their past two games - against the Memphis Grizzlies and Chicago Bulls.
They'll return to the hardwood on Wednesday (AEST) when they take on the Los Angeles Clippers in front of their home crowd.
So I just saw the Joel Embiid instagram stuff and, well,— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) February 11, 2020
Joel Embiid with Ben Simmons the next chance he gets: pic.twitter.com/zzWYb4aDWt— Chris Walder (@WalderSports) February 11, 2020
If only he were free agent sooner. Embiid contract runs through 2022-23. Sixers obviously would ask for world even if Embiid were made available. But this is now a thing. https://t.co/VJQpRxzuun— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) February 11, 2020