Expectations couldn’t be higher for the Philadelphia 76ers. Entering the 2017 season, the fan base is fully anticipating a season where the 76ers franchise might actually be competitive. This organization has suffered the tanking process for the past few years and have finally seen a change in landscape, which features young talented rookies who seem to be eager to change the fortunes of this broken down team. In typical Philadelphia fashion, bad news broke yesterday that one of their prized players Joel Embiid is not cleared for 5 on 5 basketball drills. That might not seem like a huge deal in September but this news might have huge implications for the 76ers in the upcoming season.
The surgery on Joel Embiid’s left knee in March was classified as minor by the 76ers front office and they were in no rush to get him back on the court because the team was in last place. After playing 31 games, the 76ers were impressed with what they saw but took it easy with their superstar. Embiid has been training during the off-season but a minor surgery that took place in March should have healed by now. Hearing the news that Joel Embiid is still not cleared to play creates a huge black cloud over the start of training camp.
Sure the 76ers have Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons on their roster but Embiid has quickly become the face of the franchise. He was supposed to be the leader of this young team but he can not do that while sitting on the bench with an injury. It doesn’t help the cause that the front office has been secretive about the healing process that Joel Embiid is going through. When asked for an update, the 76ers President Bryan Colangelo said “But in regards to playing five on five basketball and when that can actually happen, right now we can’t give you a direct answer.” Mysterious circumstances is never a good sign especially regarding a player who had injuries in college.
An extremely young team focusing on changing how an organization is viewed throughout the entire NBA desperately needs all the help they can gather. Losing their respected leader, who was in talks for Rookie of the Year honors in 2016-2017, will be a huge blow which might just be enough to derail the 76ers plans to finally make the NBA playoffs this year. Sure it is still early and there is time to focus on healing but a minor setback in anything could ruin both the 76ers chances in the 2017-2018 season and Joel Embiid’s career. There is much more going on with this injury and for 76ers fans that is not a good sign.
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