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Joel Embiid makes it clear he doesn’t like load management

Dave Uram
November 23, 2019 - 1:46 pm

Joel Embiid is just like you -- he doesn't enjoy having to deal with load management. 

He may have to abide by it if that’s what the Sixers desire, which it’s no secret that’s the case. The extraordinarily talented center, deep down, might understand that it will pay off in the long run.

But, one thing that drives his talent is his competitiveness, and Embiid doesn’t want to watch from the sideline—understandably so.

This latest revelation came after a 114-105 win over the Spurs at Wells Fargo Center—part one of a back-to-back, which concludes Saturday night against Jimmy Butler and the Heat in South Philadelphia.

The plan heading into the weekend was already for Embiid to play both games. That’s why the question that solicited his comments Friday night had nothing to do with load management. In the victory over San Antonio, Embiid only played 28 minutes due to first half foul trouble, so it was asked how he thinks that might benefit him Saturday against Miami.

“It doesn’t matter,” Embiid said.

That is the only part of his answer that directly answered the question. He continued by ripping load management.

“I want to play every game. Load management—that’s some BS. I want to play every game. I want to be on the court building the chemistry with my teammates. Hopefully we get (Josh Richardson) back and we get to play with each other, keep learning. That’s how we gonna win, especially when it comes to playoff time. I want to play every game. I’m tired of sitting. I just want to play.”

Embiid is correct in terms of the building chemistry aspect. The entire Sixers starting five has barely played together through 15 games this season because of an Embiid suspension, injuries and, of course, load management. He and the rest of the starters need to play together a lot, especially early on. However, as the season progresses, he needs to take nights off as well.

And again, that wasn’t the plan for this weekend, so there was no immediate reason for him to voice his displeasure about load management. That aspect alone shows just how much he dislikes the concept.

He’s a Philadelphian competitor through and through, so you can’t blame him. At the same time, it would help in the long run if Embiid takes a game off here and there.