The Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Denver Nuggets 97-92 Tuesday night.
The game was on TNT, and during the post-game show Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal were less than impressed with 76ers star center Joel Embiid, despite the win.
"He's the toughest player in the league to match up with/ But we don't talk about him the way we talk about Luka [Doncic], Giannis [Antetokounmpo], Anthony Davis, James [Harden]. We don't ever say that about him," Barkley said, and added he no longer thinks the Sixers are title contenders because of Embiid's lack of development.
Shaq also compared him unfavorably to Antetokoumpo.
"Do you want to be great, or do you want to be good? If you want to be good, keep doing 22 points. You want to be great, give me 28, give me 30. You want to be great, watch Giannis; he wants to be great," the Hall of Famer said.
Embiid was confronted by those statements this afternoon, and he basically agreed with them.
I asked #Sixers’ Joel Embiid about the criticism Charles Barkley and Shaq had about his performances. This is what he said: pic.twitter.com/aOk6q8X2ht— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) December 12, 2019
"Maybe they're right. Maybe. I do think they're right," Embiid said. "I think I need to be more aggressive and just look to impose myself and look to dominate.
"I think the whole season I haven't done that, and you can see the way it has affected my efficiency and my stats, so I guess I need to go back to having fun and just dominating. But I get what they are saying, and I think they are right, man. I have to make a change."
Despite Embiid's downtick in production, dropping from last season's 27.5 points, 13.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists to 22 points, 12.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists, the Sixers are 18-7.