Brett Brown comments on Joel Embiid's Instagram post

Dave Uram
February 11, 2020 - 8:04 pm

Brett Brown isn’t shy admitting 21st Century tendencies aren’t his strength, social media included. But, if one of his best players—and in this case his very best—posts something on Twitter, Instagram or both, he’ll probably find out. 

Nearly 24 hours after Joel Embiid went on social media to tweet about his shush heard around the world, the 76ers head coach shared his thoughts on the controversy. 

“It’s Joel,” Browns said before the 76ers game against the Clippers Tuesday. “Is it ideal? Maybe not. Is it Joel? Yes. Is there a ‘Maverick’ in a lot of really, really good players? Yes. And there’s this side of Jo that has always been there that it’s a—playful is probably not the best word that suits this—but it’s that. It’s some phrasing of that. And we move on. I don’t really have much more to add to that.”

But, Embiid’s first tweet was followed up by Jimmy Butler appearing to recruit Embiid to Miami, and the Sixers center didn’t seem too opposed to taking him up on that superbly unofficial proposition. 

“I got so much more that I’m thinking about than that,” Brown said. “I’ll go back to my original comment—is it deal? No. Am I reading too much into it? Will I overreact? Absolutely not. The people that been around Jo all of our time should get what motivates him, and I think that we’d all be quite surprised if there isn’t a level that we see from Jo tonight. And the Philly fans they bring out the best of him, of us—you know that keep it very much at a real level—and I look forward to seeing him play tonight.”

Some in the media believe Embiid received some boos during pregame introductions. Honestly, it was really hard to tell because of all the noise that occurs then. Either way, Embiid scored the 76ers first points with an AND 1, and immediately did the opposite of shushing—motioning the crowd to make noise as the big guy gave a giant smile. 

That’s what makes Philadelphia sports so great—one second fans are annoyed—the next all is forgotten.

Remember—after the interaction with Butler on Instagram, Embiid followed that up with a post about “#AllLove.” Truthfully, it would’ve been a bigger problem if Embiid was booed when possessing the ball in game against the Clippers. 

All is not lost with this extraordinary talent whose nickname is “The Process.” This latest episode of “Shushgate” and Instagram fun with Butler can be ancient history if Embiid delivers a championship to starving Sixers fans. 

Despite signs of immaturity, Brown vouched Embiid’s leadership is where it needs to be when asked if he’s taken it seriously this season.  

“I do,” Brown said. “And let me double down in a way that you wouldn’t see. Like if you were the security camera at our practice facility, you’re going to see him there at 12 at night, 12:30 at night repetitively. Not so long ago we see his finger swinging on National TV, and a few weeks later he comes back and has that thing—and all of us would be quite naive and maybe never played a lot of basketball to think like that doesn’t affect his game.

“Does he step out bounds sometimes with this instance—it’s not ideal. I could see that. Could he be better? We all could. And so I feel like there’s a little bit like fairness that needs to be extended to him—the ones that know really what has gone on behind closed doors at 12 midnight. Team meetings where things are spoken and said and nobody is really aware of. I always want from myself, from Ben, from Jo. It’s not something that when you asked the question the way that you have asked it that I would answer it any other way than I just did. I feel comfortable, confident saying what I just said.”

Brown is backing his “crown jewel.” Now, it’s time for Embiid to step up and be “Fun Joel” again.