Embiid wants 'green light to play' for 76ers
NBA.com Global on Apr 17, 2018 09:13 PM
FILE - UNIONDALE, NY - OCTOBER 11: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers shoots the ball during the preseason game against the Brooklyn Nets on October 11, 2017 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
NBA.com staff report
Any 76ers player or fan would have been disappointed with Monday's (Tuesday, PHL time) 113-103 loss to Miami in Game 2 of the NBA Playoffs first round. For Joel Embiid, however, the defeat was especially bitter.
For the second consecutive postseason game and 10th in a row overall, the All-Star big man was forced to watch from the sideline while he recovers from surgery for an orbital fracture. Embiid had hoped to play in Game 2 after the NBA's concussion protocol, but the Sixers are being conservative with his return to the court and ultimately ruled him out.
After Monday's (Tuesday, PHL time) game, Embiid took to Instagram to vent his frustrations, writing, "F---ing sick and tired of being babied."
When asked about the post, Embiid stressed to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne that he was simply eager to suit up for his team once again.
Joel Embiid to ESPN on the frustration behind his IG post from earlier, “I promised the city the playoffs and I’m not on the court and I may not be on Thursday either. I wish more than anything that I was out there. I just want the green light to play.”— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) April 17, 2018
"I promised the city the playoffs and I'm not on the court and I may not be on Thursday either," Embiid said. "I wish more than anything that I was out there. I just want the green light to play."
After the loss, 76ers coach Brett Brown seemed understanding of Embiid's emotions.
"He just wants to play basketball. When he's not able to do that, he gets frustrated. It's born out of competitiveness." @sixers HC Brett Brown on Joel Emiid's "sick and tired" social media post. pic.twitter.com/mxoEI2KZLK— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) April 17, 2018
"He just wants to play basketball," Brown said. "He wants to be with his team. He wants to play in front of the fans. He wants to see this through. When he's not able to do that, he gets frustrated."
This is not the first time Philadelphia has played it safe with Embiid's on-court health. The franchise kept him from playing in back-to-back games for most of the first half of the season. Despite those restrictions and his late-season injury, Embiid played in 63 games after logging just 31 total over his first three seasons since being drafted third overall in 2014.