Hoo boy! We have turmoil and in a big way.
An SI.com article by Brian Geltzeiler rails against the Sixers, their plan, Sam Hinkie and, most viciously, Joel Embiid, whom Geltzeiler implies is an insubordinate fatty who may be responsible for his need to have a second surgery. This will be the Sixers article pundits, writers, radio hosts and bloggers reference if this whole thing goes south. This is the definitive tome to date for the anti-tank crowd. You should read it. But here are some of the main takeaways, all per Geltzeiler’s reporting, some of which the Sixers vehemently deny:
- Joshua Harris is still in Hinkie’s corner, but other owners, Scott O’Neil and Brett Brown are beginning to chafe at some of his decisions.
- There was disagreement over trading Michael Carter-Williams. It was Hinkie’s idea – mostly because he thought MCW had peaked as a poor-ish shooter – and it caught both Brown and O’Neil off-guard. We knew this to an extent. Brown wasn’t too subtle about letting his stance be known, but he never outright criticized Hinkie. On our podcast earlier this year, Brown said of the trade: “Michael Carter-Williams was one of my favorite players. I loved coaching Michael Carter-Williams. And so we spoke freely about the benefits of trying to keep him and the benefits that might not come our way if we did [get rid of] him. So you step back, and I trusted Sam’s judgement that he’d done his studies and all the things that he had thought, ultimately if we did do this, were going to help the club, would play out. And so you walk out of the room and you let that situation happen.” You can listen to the full thing here.
- Sixers PR man Mike Preston called the claims “a gross mischaracterization.”
- A source said Dario Saric’s father wants the Sixers nowhere close to his son. Hinkie was hardly allowed to speak with Saric when he went to Turkey. Saric might not come over until the 2017-2018 season.
- Some around the league believe that Brown may be overvalued because of his ties to Gregg Popovich. This is more speculation than anything, but Geltzeiler, I guess, figured he’d hit Brown with some shrapnel as he was eviscerating the team with his grammatical Mega Buster.
- Embiid’s attitude issues may be worse than his physical issues. He threatened a strength coach on a road trip last year. He didn’t wear his walking boot like he was supposed to. He went to Vegas for the Summer League, against the wishes of the team, and partied for 10 days and even dunked, which fueled the theory that he re-broke his foot and perhaps led to his needing a second season-ending surgery. He drinks Shirley Temples BY THE PITCHER.
There’s so much here on
Bynum Embiid [actual mistake I made] that we have to go to the excerpt machine:
The fact that Brown sent Embiid home from a West Coast road trip last season for being insubordinate to the team’s strength coach and training staff is well documented, but according to a source, the tipping point in the decision was Embiid physically threatening the strength coach on that road trip. According to sources, this followed a pattern of insubordination from Embiid during the rehabilitation of his initial foot injury that sidelined him for the entire 2014–15 season, where he would repeatedly refuse to answer questions from the training staff about his workouts and therapy sessions.
Embiid was determined to go to Vegas to party for the balance of the 10 days of summer league. While Embiid was in Vegas, he was mandated to wear the walking boot in advance of the second surgery, but Embiid not only refused to wear the boot, but he carried himself as if nothing was wrong with the foot, shooting jumpers and even occasionally dunking. These actions have given rise to the theory that Embiid actually re-broke his foot, rather than the initial injury not healing properly. It also led to Embiid having the surgery a month later than the club originally had hoped.
This type of disregard for instruction also extends to Embiid’s dietary habits. Per a source, the Sixers’ training staff was so concerned about what he was eating, they stocked the refrigerator in his downtown hotel residence each week with healthy food. When a staffer went to restock the fridge each week, most everything was uneaten and unopened, and they were throwing out the fruits and vegetables every week. When the team subsequently asked to see Embiid’s room service bill, they found that most days he was ordering junk food along with his signature beverage, a pitcher of Shirley Temples. Embiid also was frequently seen feasting on chicken fingers and hot dogs at and after games.
Gah! This isn’t particularly surprising when it comes to Embiid. We’ve noted his loon-like tendencies and his Philly career arc’s increasing resemblance to Andrew Bynum’s. But Geltzeiler has paved new ground for the anti-tank crowd. I imagine Howard Eskin is currently covered in his own juices at the moment. Read the whole thing here.