“To Embiid or not to Embiid”

South Philly Review Intern Joey Fontanazza weighs in with his NBA Draft analysis:

The daze of another noontime wake up time greets me. I shake off the “sleep” in my eyes and look outside. Clear skies but the appeal of the air conditioner is too much to pass up. I lazily check my phone hoping that I passed somebody’s mind throughout the night: no messages. Twitter is next on my agenda. “Don’t Care, Don’t Care, Don’t Care and Shut up”, but the next 150-character dagger fills my heart with the anxiety of a junior prom. “Joel Embiid injures foot”. “No, this can’t be,” I scream, yet this is very real. The draft was going to be so perfect. “Embiid, Parker, Wiggins” was all that played through my mind for the previous days. The Cavaliers get the big man that every team desires. The Bucks get the scorer they desperately need, and the 76ers get the long and athletic wing that would be so ideal for their up-tempo style. All of the past anticipations were erased in a haze of Greg Oden and Sam Bowie comparisons.

Then the worst of all, “Andrew Wiggins takes over as favorite for 1st overall pick”. Why does God or whatever controls this crazy universe hate the 76ers so much? The Sixers have been cursed every step of the way through these past years. “Oh, you get a center that you think can finally be the guy well he is not going to play a game as a Sixer. “You lose 25 straight games but guess what; the Sixers still aren’t the worst team. And last but not least “The Sixers have the second highest chance of the first pick, but we are going to give that pick to the worst franchise in the NBA that lost the best player of a generation”. The Basketball Gremlin’s power in Philadelphia is all encompassing.

I have to take a step back, for a minute I forgot there are people in the world with real problems. But how dare he, how dare Embiid get hurt before the draft. How selfish of him.

I passed through the first four stages of grief in about five minutes. Yes, I know, I take sports too seriously but this is what happens when you have no other hobbies, damn it. It was now time for the fifth stage, “The Upward Turn” (thanks recover-from-grief.com). Scenarios flashed through my subconscious. “Well, I do really like Exum, or maybe we could trade up”. They were comforting but Sam Hinkie is the radical behind the Sixers’ iron curtain. Anything that he does will likely come completely out of nowhere. His silent but powerful manner could spawn a whole new set of “Chuck Norris Joke” rip-offs. Hinkie was the last factor that soothed my sports’ anxiety attack. This is the first time in my life that I trust the people in the 76ers’ front office to make the right decisions. So when the June 26th draft happens, I will sit with my newly-legal-for-me beer and let Mr.Hinkie do his job. Let the players fall where they may yet have visions of the 2019 NBA Champion, Philadelphia 76ers.

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