Joel Embiid may court controversy occasionally, but the NBA star surely knows how to take criticism. One of the legends of the game, Shaquille O'Neal recently roasted Embiid for 'not working hard enough'. The Philadelphia 76ers center responded in the most humble manner and recorded a season-high 38 points to sink the Boston Celtics on Thursday night.
Joel Embiid, maturely, says he thinks Chuck and Shaq are right. pic.twitter.com/81DdeeXmfg— SPORTSRADIO 94WIP (@SportsRadioWIP) December 12, 2019
After the 76ers came out with a narrow 97-92 win over the Denver Nuggets, NBA greats Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley drew some criticism over Joel Embiid. According to the TNT duo, Embiid is not apparently working hard enough. O'Neal and Barkley believed that the 25-year-old was not living up to his potential and was playing as if he was satisfied with being 'just' good.
Just 24 hours later, Joel Embiid responded with a dominating performance against the Celtics at the TD Garden. The Cameroonian recorded 38 points, 13 rebounds and 6 assists on the night. During a post-game interview, Embiid revealed that he called Shaquille O'Neal, but instead of responding angrily to the comments made, he said the call was made just to tell O'Neal that he understood what the basketball great expected from him.
'I just wanted to talk to him. He was just telling me, Be aggressive. You’re the guy. So just go out there and dominate.’ - Joel Embiid
SAY HELLO TO THE ONLY UNDEFEATED TEAM IN THE NBA AT HOME, YOUR PHILADELPHIA 76ERS!!! pic.twitter.com/vpJuumlb9W— Justin Lever 🦅💚⚾️ (@JustinLever2) December 14, 2019
It seems Joel Embiid has taken the criticism quite seriously and we might just see much more from the 76ers star going forward. The criticism was followed with back-to-back starring performances from Embiid as he also recorded 24 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists for the 76ers in their win over New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night. The Philadelphia 76ers are unbeaten in their last 5 games and will be preparing to face the Brooklyn Nets next at the Barclays Center on Sunday night.