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Video: Charles Barkley calls Sixers the ‘stupidest organization in the history of sports’ for playing Joel Embiid with an injured back

Charles Barkley, Joel Embiid, Sixers

TNT analyst Charles Barkley didn’t hold back during Thursday’s double-header that featured the Philadelphia 76ers and Indiana Pacers, harshly judging the Sixers for their decision to play Joel Embiid through a back injury:

“Let me just say this about the Philadelphia 76ers: they got to be the stupidest organization in the history of sports,” said Barkley. “They got a franchise player who’s had a bad back and is injury-prone — he can barely walk and you got him out there playing a regular-season game. You have to be the stupidest organization … He’s hurt!

“You gave the guy $150 million dollars, he’s got a bad back, he’s clearly laboring. Why would you play him? Sometimes your owner and coaches have to protect you from your own stupidity. There was many times I played in a basketball game and I shouldn’t have played.”

For as much of an old-school player he can be, Sir Charles has a point. Embiid has a history of injuries, and the Sixers have proven to be lacking a certain jolt at both ends of the floor when he isn’t around.

Handing the Pacers a 120-96 beatdown put them in a tie at 3.5 games back from the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks, but the game was rather meaningless, considering the complications that could arise if Embiid re-injured his back.

Embiid played 35 minutes and posted a near-triple-double with 22 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists, sprinkling in three blocks and a steal for good measure. But the pregame footage suggests he wasn’t all that right heading into Thursday’s tilt, making this a risky play by a Sixers team that has deep playoff run aspirations.