- ‣ Fans were disappointed when Joel Embiid was announced unfit to play right before a highly anticipated matchup against Nikola Jokic, sparking debate and disappointment among attendees and viewers.
- ‣ Nuggets coach Michael Malone expressed confusion and anticipation of an NBA investigation into Embiid’s sudden status change from active to out, highlighting the league’s scrutiny over such decisions.
- ‣ Despite the controversy, Nikola Jokic defended Joel Embiid, emphasizing respect for his achievements and contributions to the sport, while the incident also sparked discussions on load management within the NBA.
Michael Malone: "I feel like there was a letdown when we found out Joel Embiid wasn't playing."
— DNVR Nuggets (@DNVR_Nuggets)
Oh boy, this weekend was supposed to be lit with another epic showdown between Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic. Fans were all geared up, popcorn at the ready. But then, bam! The Sixers dropped a bombshell right before game time. Their star, Embiid, was out. Couldn’t play. Imagine the collective groan at the Ball Arena in Colorado. Disappointment hung thick in the air.
Embiid had been on fire, playing in his team’s last six games. Even put up 41 points against Denver previously, leading his team to a sweet victory. No wonder the Nuggets were thirsty for a rematch. Coach Michael Malone was left scratching his head, puzzled over Embiid’s sudden absence. “How do you go from being active, available, to out?” he mused. He hinted that the league might need to peek into this. “That’s frowned upon,” he added, clearly not amused.
Malone felt a bit let down, to be honest. He kinda expected the NBA to dig into the matter. After all, they’ve had chats with the league before about players suddenly being marked as out. Malone did recall seeing Joel get banged up in a game against Indiana. “I’m sure he’s hurt,” he conceded, despite the confusion.
Despite his bewildering comments, Malone’s main point was clear. He and his team were bummed out when they heard Embiid wouldn’t be playing. It was a letdown, no doubt. Now, there’s chatter about whether the league will investigate Embiid’s no-show. The topic of load management has been hot this season. Meanwhile, Jokic didn’t disappoint, leading his team to a 111-105 victory with a stellar performance.
Nick Nurse, the rival coach, stepped in to clarify. There was nothing shady about Embiid’s absence. “He really wanted to play,” Nurse said. But alas, the medical team gave a thumbs down. “That’s too bad for those fans,” he sighed.
Jokic, ever the gentleman, defended Embiid. He stressed that respect was due for what Embiid has achieved this season. “He’s putting history in front of our eyes,” Jokic praised, after leading his team to victory.
Even NBA legend Magic Johnson felt the sting of disappointment. He was all set for the Jokic vs. Embiid face-off. Yet, he found a silver lining in the Lakers-Warriors game, which turned into a nail-biting classic. “I’m so disappointed,” he tweeted, yet couldn’t hide his excitement for the LeBron James and Steph Curry showdown. Just goes to show, the game goes on, with or without its stars.