Not really. It’s not that big of a deal.
Joel Embiid putting his fingers to his lips and mouthing “shut the fuck up” is just an athlete hearing the boos and then clapping back, as I wrote this morning. Ben Simmons, Bryce Harper, and countless others have been down this road before with Philly sports fans.
Today Brett Brown talked about Embiid’s Sunday gesture and didn’t make much of it at all, in typical Brett fashion:
Brett Brown on the booing: “I think in general it goes like this: This is a uniquely, and we love it, aggressive city. Look at how they handle their stars, from Carson Wentz to Harper to Joel Embiid. They're on coaches. Some of it is we just gotta play better and coach better…” pic.twitter.com/oc4j6n8FmC
— Rich Hofmann (@rich_hofmann) February 10, 2020
“Uniquely aggressive” is a good way to put it.
It’s not aggressive in a bad way, necessarily, it’s just a way for fans to communicate to players that they aren’t cutting it right now. They know, and Joel Embiid knows, that he can play better. There certainly can be some assholes out there, but those same people who boo you will typically change their tune and provide a standing ovation when you start playing to the level of your capabilities again. That goes for the team and coach as well.