Joel Embiid isn't an All-Star starter, and it's Boston's fault. That's what Daryl Morey believes, anyway.
After Embiid was left off the list of Eastern Conference starters in the 2023 NBA All-Star Game on Thursday night, the Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations went on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia to point the finger at the Boston media for Embiid's snub.
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"Joel Embiid completely hosed once again," Morey said on "The Anthony Gargano Show" on Friday. "This time, to your point, the perpetrators of the crime were the shameless media.
"Most of them have recused themselves because they don't want to vote on something that affects players' paychecks, but the shameless Boston media is way overrepresented. They haven't recused themselves, and they shoved Joel low enough so that he's not an All-Star starter. It's crazy."
For context, Embiid finished fourth in overall voting in the East frontcourt, with Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brooklyn's Kevin Durant and Boston's Jayson Tatum getting starter nods ahead of him. The formula for determining a player's rank is 50 percent fan vote, 25 percent player vote and 25 percent media vote; Embiid finished third in the media vote, with Tatum actually ranking No. 1 in the media vote ahead of Antetokounmpo, Embiid and Durant.
So, Morey seems to be complaining that there are too many media voters from Boston (presumably voting for the Celtics' star player) involved in the process. For now, though, there doesn't appear to be hard evidence supporting Morey's gripe.
It's also worth noting that Embiid finished fourth in fan voting -- which has double the impact of media voting -- and third in player voting. So if Morey has a bone to pick over Embiid's snub, it should probably be with the fans.
You could make the case that Boston and Tatum are the wrong target for Morey, too. Embiid deserves to be a starter -- he leads the NBA in scoring at 33.4 points per game while averaging 9.8 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.7 blocks per game as a top-three MVP candidate -- but over either Durant or Antetokounmpo, not Tatum. Durant and Antetokounmpo have missed nine and 11 games, respectively, while Tatum has only sat out three games, averaging 31.1 points, 8.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists for the league-leading Celtics.
Then again, the Sixers have lost three of their last five games against the C's and have lost five straight playoff series to their East rival, so perhaps that explains why Morey was eager to take a shot at Boston instead.