Charles Barkley Calls Out Joel Embiid for Body Language After Sixers Loss

Screengrab on Twitter/ @NBAonTNT
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The Philadelphia 76ers’ 104-101 loss to the New York Knicks in Game 2 of the playoff series led to a wide gamut of reactions, from known Knicks fan Ben Stiller celebrating the chaotic buzzer-beater win to 76ers coach Nick Nurse angrily ripping the officials.

When the cameras turned to 76ers star Joel Embiid, he was shown with his head down in the locker room, covering most of his face with his hand during a postgame interview.

TNT analyst Charles Barkley didn’t think Embiid’s body language was befitting of a player meant to embody the team’s unquestioned leader.

“What I’d like to see from Joel, he’s gotta get his head up,” Barkley said. “Because he's the leader of the team. He’s the best player, he’s one of the best players in the world…As a leader of the team, he cannot have his head down. He’s got to say, ‘Guys, we’re fine. They did what they were supposed to do. We’re gonna go home and win Game 3 and 4.”

It’s worth noting that some fans believe Embiid has been battling an eye issue, which may have increased his sensitivity to light. The 76ers center was seen wearing sunglasses during Monday’s pregame shoot-around after appearing to struggle with vision problems in Game 1’s 111-104 loss. Embiid is averaging 31.5 points, 9.0 assists and 6.0 rebounds through the first two games of the playoffs.

Down 2-0 in the series, the 76ers will play the Knicks in Game 3 at Wells Fargo Center on Thursday.

Kristen Wong


Kristen Wong is a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. She has been a sports journalist since 2020. Before joining SI, Kristen covered four NFL teams as an associate editor with the FanSided NFL Network and worked as a staff writer for the brand’s flagship site. She has written about soccer, the NFL, NBA, and MLB since 2020, and outside of work, has dreams of running her own sporty dive bar.