By Sean Kennedy (@PhillyFastBreak)
Remember this when Embiid gets snubbed in an hour pic.twitter.com/THZrDEgIff
— max (@MaxRappaport) January 26, 2017
Despite finishing top-3 in the fan voting, the new rules also counting media and player voting conspired to keep Joel Embiid out as an All-Star starter by a single spot. Thursday night, we learned that despite averages of 19.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game, Embiid was also left off the list of the Eastern Conference All-Star reserves by the coaches.
Introducing the Eastern Conference All-Star Reserves! pic.twitter.com/8ftFaEfSoP
— NBA UK (@NBAUK) January 27, 2017
Evidently, the fact that Embiid has only played 30 of Philadelphia’s 44 games and been on the court for just an average of 25.3 minutes per night weighed heavily on the coaches’ minds. Whether or not Embiid is a much more dangerous player than someone like Paul Millsap doesn’t matter to those who consider the best ability to be availability.
As always, Embiid had the perfect thing to say on social media:
Once again the popular vote didn't matter……
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) January 27, 2017
Good to see Joel keep a sense of humor about things. As long as he stays healthy, he’s going to hear his name called for this game for the better part of the next decade.
As for the Sixers fans who are outraged Embiid wasn’t selected as an All-Star this year, they just have to remember that this whole thing is about patience. Maybe that is something people have forgotten now that the Sixers are fighting for a playoff berth.
We’ll still get to watch Embiid (and Dario Saric and Jahlil Okafor) down in New Orleans as part of the Rising Stars game. While it would have been great to see Embiid on the floor with the best players in the NBA, it seems an undeniable fact that he’ll be out there for years to come. Consider how lucky we are about that and the anger about one little All-Star selection just slides away.