- Joel Embiid cried as he walked off the court following Kawhi Leonard’s game-winning shot eliminated the Philadelphia 76ers from the playoffs.
- Sixers coach Brett Brown gave a great, heartfelt response afterward, saying, though it’s a painful moment for Embiid now, he will grow and improve because of it.
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The Philadelphia 76ers were eliminated from the playoffs in heart-wrenching fashion on Sunday when Kawhi Leonard hit a buzzer-beating jump shot in Game 7 to give the Toronto Raptors the win.
After the game, 76ers center Joel Embiid, who contested Leonard’s shot as well as anyone could, walked off the court in tears. He was seen being consoled by 76ers players, Raptors players, and even his girlfriend when he got to the locker room.
It was a disappointing finish for the Sixers, who went all-in this year by trading for Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris, and for Embiid, who battled knee ailments and illnesses throughout the playoffs and rarely appeared 100%.
76ers head coach Brett Brown gave a great, heartfelt response during his postgame press conference when asked about Embiid’s emotions.
“That it’s going to be a life memory. That as painful as it feels now, it will help,” Brown said. “It will help shape his career. It will help give him greater clarity of what this time of the year represents. All of the stuff that has to accrue over many months that will one day equal the ability to be a champion. It’s hard. It’s hard to be the last man standing. To see him have the emotion that he has – he’s one of many in that locker room – it is painful for all of us.
“But to your question with Joel, he’ll look in the rearview mirror and remember this. He’ll come out better and stronger and smarter and more aware of really, what it takes to play longer than we’ve been able to play.”
The 76ers enter an offseason full of questions. Reports indicate that Browns’ job is in jeopardy after failing to make it out of the second round of the playoffs.
Major pieces of the team in Butler, Harris, and J.J Redick are free agents, and re-signing all of them would come at an enormous cost. It seems likely that at least one of them will depart in the offseason.
Embiid is the centrepiece of the franchise, and it’s clear he’ll need to make another leap in his game to bring the Sixers to the next level. According to Brown, the tough loss on Sunday will help.
Watch Brown’s answer below:
absolutely amazing answer from brett brown when asked about embiid crying after the game and how it will make him stronger pic.twitter.com/yCHPkvGAen
— drew (@Dcorrigan50) May 13, 2019
- Read more:
- Stunning photo captured the Raptors and Sixers watching Kawhi Leonard’s series-winning shot bounce around the rim
- C.J. McCollum pulled off a LeBron James-like block and Michael Jordan-esque jump shot in a heroic effort to advance the Blazers in the playoffs
- LeBron James went on a mini-rant about ‘real basketball’ after the Blazers big win to advance to the Western Conference Finals
- The Warriors explained how Stephen Curry saved the team after the ugly Kevin Durant-Draymond Green altercation
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