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Charles Barkley takes aim at Joel Embiid

By Daniel Lehewych

Contributer| Telegraph Local

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Charles Barkley, known for his ruthless basketball commentary, has clearly has some great critical interest in his former team, the 76ers, and one of its players, Joel Embiid.

In sum, Barkley thinks that the 76ers are in extremely poor shape this season. Despite the fact that they have only played about 25 games this season, Barkley thinks that this is ample evidence to suggest that it will be a poor season for the 76ers.

In particular, the 76ers player Joel Embiid –who is only 25-years old and was the third pick in the 2014 NBA draft– is performing poorly according to Barkley –who was in conversation with Shaquille O’Neal, who agreed.

“We’re telling you, ‘You can be great. You ain’t playing hard enough.’ Twenty-two ain’t enough to get you to the next level,” O’Neal said. “Do you want to be great or do you want to be good? If you want to be good, keep doing 22 points. You want to be great, give me 28, give me 30. You want to be great, watch Giannis — he wants to be great.”

This is a response to Embiid’s general performance in terms of scoring points in individual games.

Such performance, might in itself be understood to be the case by Embiid, as he has been quoted as saying that he hasn’t been giving the game his full intensity.

“The whole season it feels like I’ve been going through the motions and part of it is also making sure I’m healthy for the playoffs,” he told reporters. “Going into the season, the last playoffs that I’ve been part of I’ve not been healthy, so for me going into this season, my main goal was to make sure that I get to the playoffs healthy and so far I’ve been doing a good job of that —taking care of my body and also, on the court when I’m needed, I’m gonna bring it. But then again, I’m also lucky that we got so many guys that can make a lot of things happen. But if I’m needed, I’ll be there.”

It seems reasonable to suspect that when Embiid is at a greater level of overall health, his performance will begin to improve. But for now, Barkley’s prediction in September that the Sixers were likely to win the NBA title seems farfetched, both in reality and even by Barkley’s own flip-flop on the matter.

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