BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 18: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on during the second half of the game against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on October 18, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts.

by John Kincade

Having done this job for around 3 decades, I always want to know what the motivation is behind the comments any professional athlete makes. On a random Wednesday in December the last thing that I expected were comments from Joel Embiid driving a firestorm of controversy. I also didn’t expect one of the most locally loved and supported athletes to once again paint this fan base as being against him. Joel Embiid told Yahoo Sports “76ers fans want him traded”. I can’t state this any clearer. In almost 2 years of The John Kincade Show that has never been the prevailing opinion or even the lunatic fringe opinion on Joel Embiid. He has been in fact blindly supported and the patron saint of The Process Defenders. There may not be any athlete in the city currently who is shown more patience and love. It’s a complete fallacy to describe it otherwise. It makes me wonder then why he chose to distribute this talking point on a national website. I have my theories and none of them are good.

Strangely enough just yesterday we were discussing who is the athlete that young people here in Philadelphia love the most. It was overwhelmingly a vote that went in favor of Joel Embiid. He won out over Bryce Harper and Jalen Hurts. To portray himself as unloved and the fans wanting him traded is blatantly false. What could be the theory?

– Joel Embiid is a lover of social media. He’s a bit obsessed with it. He loves trolling people. He is probably hearing from some of the faceless trolls that are looking to get a rise out of him. If he got his head out of IG and Twitter he would understand how respected and adored he is. Does he want to portray himself as being victimized? Is that a setup for a further action in the future? Don’t scoff. We have seen athletes use narratives like this to force an exit in the past. I’m hoping that this isn’t part of the motivation.

– Joel loves attention. He claims that “he plays every game like it’s the playoffs”. I definitely don’t believe that statement is true. First of all, you can’t take games off every season when healthy and claim you consider every game important. We all have seen many nights where he seems mopey or disinterested. No, you can’t play every game like it’s the NBA Finals, but to portray himself as the every night warrior isn’t true.

– We have all seen Mopey Joel as recently as last post season before the elimination game. He fought through injury to play the best, but when faced with adversity he sometimes is busy pining away for former teammates now playing in Miami or lamenting what hasn’t gone right for him.

I remind people all the time, sorry Elon, that less than 15% of Americans use Twitter. Obsession with random opinions on social media can crush the soul of the weak minded. I’ve dealt with it my entire career. It’s part of the job. You will have nasty people, hide behind a keyboard in anonymity and say awful things. I can deal with it or go be a salesman. At some point I learned that you don’t worry about those folks, have fun with their venom and maybe say a prayer for them to find peace.

Joel is loved. The city is obsessed with him. Something deeper is going on here if he doesn’t realize it. I hope he wakes up and realizes that in fact he almost owns this town. Enough of this nonsense talk. Get to work and win a championship. Ask the Phillies and Eagles, when you actually win something you definitely feel the love.