Joel Embiid

Embiid says he hopes Sixers can ‘add some pieces' (and gives George quite the look) 

Embiid sat right next to George during his appearance on ESPN's NBA Countdown.

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As he discussed the offseason ahead for the Sixers, Joel Embiid made sure to give a sly look to his right. 

Embiid appeared on ESPN’s NBA Countdown show Friday night in Dallas before the Mavericks extended the NBA Finals with a 38-point Game 4 win over the Celtics. He was asked about Boston being on the verge of a championship. 

“I can’t stand them,” he said. “I can’t stand them; I hate Boston. Great city, great fans, obviously they’ve got some great players. But it hurts me a lot.”

Embiid then wrapped up his response with a very intentional glance at fellow player panelist Paul George. 

“Hopefully, this offseason we find a way to get better and add some pieces,” he said with a grin. 

The Sixers’ interest in George has been heavily reported. The nine-time All-Star wing has not yet received an extension offer he likes from the Clippers and the Sixers are uniquely positioned this summer to make big-money offers to such a star potential free agent. George has a $48.8 million player option for the 2024-25 season. 

Neither the 30-year-old Embiid nor the 34-year-old George have reached the Finals in their careers.

“That’s the goal,” Embiid said. “You want to win a championship. All I care about is legacy. How can I find a way to accomplish what it is that I want to accomplish? And that’s win a championship. Whether I’ve got to find a way to do it with what I have or with what they put in place for us to win, I’m going to try my best to make it happen.”

“This is my first Finals appearance and I hate that it had to come in this fashion,” George said. “Watching it from the sideline, it doesn’t feel good. Shout out to the two teams that made it this far. But when you think back on what we should’ve done and could’ve done better to be where they’re at right now … all of the little plays, you start to think about them.” 

Embiid played through Bell’s palsy and left knee problems this postseason during the Sixers’ tight first-round series loss to the Knicks. 

He said he’s “doing great” and “just getting ready for the Olympics” with Team USA. Following a series of exhibition games next month, the squad’s first group-stage action in Paris will be July 28 vs. Serbia. 

“It’s going to be big for me because I’ve been dreaming about it since I was a kid,” Embiid said. “I’m excited about it, just to be part of the experience. Growing up and watching it, I just wanted to be in it. But I feel pretty good. I’m excited to get back and go to work.”

And as far as what’s next in the NBA, Embiid disagreed with the notion that the Celtics could be in the early stages of a dynasty. 

“I don’t think so,” he said, “not with the new CBA. And you’ve also got to understand that the whole (Eastern Conference) was hurt this year, myself included. … I’m the MVP. Don’t forget that. I’ve just got to get a little bit of luck, stay healthy, and I know everything else is going to take care of itself.” 

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