Tracy McGrady Calls Out 76ers' Joel Embiid for Inconsistency
Former NBA star Tracy McGrady is a fan of Philadelphia 76ers center, Joel Embiid. Like many past stars, McGrady recognizes Embiid's pure talent. Defensively, he can be unstoppable. Offensively, he's multi-talented, and his height advantage and strength give Embiid the upper-hand in a lot of matchups.
Embiid can take over matchups on any given night -- but from the outside looking in, the Sixers' franchise star doesn't always seem motivated enough to do so. Shaquille O'Neal called it how he saw it early on in the season. Charles Barkley not only agreed with his co-star but brought up Embiid's inconsistency recently once again.
Now, Tracy McGrady is getting on the bandwagon and calling out Embiid for his lack of playing at a high level consistently. "[He's] talented as hell, bro," McGrady said in regards to Embiid on 'All the Smoke' with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson. "But he doesn't play like it. That inconsistency ain't gon' do it, bro, you gotta bring it." [h/t Josh Wilson]
Not only did McGrady offer an honest opinion on Embiid as a spectator, but he also mentioned that if he were to play alongside Embiid as teammates one day, then they "might fight." Not because T-Mac isn't fond of Embiid as a person, but primarily because he doesn't believe the big man's work ethic isn't up to par.
Valid concerns surround Embiid's effort for sure. This past season, Embiid admitted at a point that getting to the playoffs healthy is his top priority. And because of that mindset, he would take it easy sometimes during the regular season to avoid injury or fatigue.
With the season suspended, Embiid currently doesn't have the opportunity to prove that his approach to the game this season was correct. Sometime soon, though, we'll see if the speculation surrounding Embiid's work ethic is correct or not if the season makes a return after spending several months on a hiatus.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_