Charles Barkley and Joel Embiid

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Barkley: 'Embiid has to get his fat butt in shape'

Andrew Porter
July 16, 2019 - 12:59 pm

You know Charles Barkley is going to give his completely honest, unfiltered opinion if you ask. And ESPN's Get Up had Barkley on their show on Tuesday, and when asked about his former team the Sixers, he said some obvious things in the most Charles Barkley way possible.

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“It’s gonna come down to Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid," Barkley said. "Two terrific young players, but Joel Embiid has got to get his fat butt in shape and Ben Simmons got to work on his game.

Related: Sixers' 2019-20 win total is set

“I wonder in Philadelphia who has the courage and hoopsa to tell Joel Embiid, ‘Yo man you got to get in shape.’ Or the person who has to tell Ben Simmons, ‘Yo man we just gave you 170 million dollars. Can you please work on your jump shot?’

If those two guys improve their game, the Philadelphia 76ers, to me, are the clear favorites in the Eastern Conference.”

Barkley isn't wrong. 

With a healthy Simmons and Embiid on the court together for two seasons, the Sixers have won 50-plus games in both of them, the first time the franchise has had back-to-back 50 win seasons in over 30 years. Now, entering year three for both young, ascending all-stars, it's time for them to take the next step. 

For Embiid, that means conditioning and stamina. And for Simmons, that means his jump shot. 

So far this summer we've seen Embiid doing cardio workouts in New York and Simmons working with highly respected NBA trainer Chris Johnson in LA. To me, they both seem motivated and poised to take the next step.