Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith call out Sixers’ Joel Embiid after Game 4
Joel Embiid just couldn’t get it going on Sunday night for the Philadelphia 76ers, as his team fell to the Toronto Raptors, 101-96. The 24-year-old struggled with his shot in Game 4 of their second-round playoffs matchup against the Raptors, going only 2-of-7 from the floor for 11 points.
Following the contest, it was revealed that Embiid was battling a virus, which may explain why he did not look himself. Nevertheless, TNT analysts Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith were not buying into Embiid’s excuse, as the two former NBA stars shared their thoughts on the Sixers big man’s poor performance.
“I’ve seen superstars have great sick games. Maybe he was sick, maybe he wasn’t. This ain’t the time to be sick. When you step on the court this time of year, this is where you make your fame,” Shaq said, via Larry Brown of Yardbarker.
Kenny Smith agreed and brought up Michael Jordan’s flu game.
“If you’re on the floor, this is how we evaluate you: what did you do?” Smith said.
Even when Barkley noted that Embiid didn’t have anything in the tank, Shaq said “I don’t care.”
That’s some pretty harsh criticism from O’Neal and Smith here, who obviously believe that Embiid should not hide behind his sickness for the forgettable outing he had against the Raptors.
However, they actually have a valid argument by implying that perhaps, given how bad he was on the floor, the Sixers might have been better off without Embiid on the floor for this particular contest.
As Smith stated, it was Embiid’s decision to suit up for this one, so regardless of his condition, the mere fact that he played give the likes of Shaq and Smith to criticize him for his on-court performance.