Why Joel Embiid was right to call out Philadelphia 76ers fans

New York Knicks v Philadelphia 76ers - Game Three
New York Knicks v Philadelphia 76ers - Game Three / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

Prior to last night’s season-saving win, Sunday afternoon was an embarrassment for the Philadelphia 76ers organization both on and off the court. On the court, the team fell in a nailbiter to the New York Knicks. Off the court, Knicks fans took over Wells Fargo Center and created a home atmosphere for the road team. 

Joel Embiid caught a lot of scrutiny for his comments about Sixers fans after the game. When asked about the lack of home court advantage in this series, Embiid said “"(It has been) Disappointing. I love our fans, think it's unfortunate. I'm not calling them out, but it is disappointing... I've been here for 10 years, kind of pisses me off”. Unsurprisingly this caused an uproar among fans with many criticizing his performance and his team's inability to perform on the games biggest stage. 

Joel Embiid is right in his comments and he said what all of us were thinking

Philadelphia is a sports town. Just look at recent Eagles and Phillies postseason home games. The energy at the Phillies World Series games in 2022 was electric and opposing teams feared coming to Philadelphia. Trea Turner even said that the Phillies fans' energy and support in 2022 was a big factor in his decision to join the club. This certainly has not been the case so far this series with Knicks fans showing out in all four games of this series. 

It is one thing for the fans to be disappointed in the team, but it’s another to not have their back right from the opening tip-off. It was evident early that the Knicks won the crowd over and would feed off their energy throughout the game. 

They have not lived up to expectations thus far and are one loss away from another disappointing postseason run. You could look at the 76ers’ inability to crash the offensive glasses or their streakiness from the field as the deciding factors so far this series.

When Embiid has been off the court this series, the Sixers have looked like a G-League team. He has finished with a positive +/- in every game, while they have been outscored significantly in his absence. Without Joel Embiid (even with a knee injury and Bell’s palsy) the Sixers would be home already. Their bench has been underwhelming with almost no contributions on the scoreboard. They have not been playing good team basketball and at this point need a miracle in order to come back and take this series. 

Plain and simple, 76ers fans and the players need to be better

Such a lackluster showing from the home crowd would be unthinkable at a Phillies, Flyers, or Eagles playoff game, and there's no reason for it to be tolerated at a 76ers game. While there were times where fans drowned out the boos, they let Knicks fans create a hostile environment and did not do a thing about it. Now, let’s see if the home fans come out strong with the season on the line on Game 6.

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