PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – SportsRadio 94 WIP’s Ike Reese says the Sixers misled the public about the severity of an injury to Joel Embiid’s knee and betrayed the public’s trust following the emergence of a video in which Embiid is dancing on stage with rapper Meek Mill that forced a more accurate assessment of his injury status.
Reese told Chris Stigall on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT that the video presented poor optics for both the team and Embiid.READ MORE: Philadelphia School District Students, Staff To Resume Masking As COVID Cases Continue To Rise In City
“It’s less about him dancing and the impact it could have on the injury or what have you. It’s really more about how it makes the organization look because here’s the organization that has said, ‘look, don’t worry, he’s OK. We’re just being extra or overly cautious with his return. We want to make sure this thing is absolutely healed, this bone bruise that he supposedly has. That’s why he’s not playing.’ So, it has less to do with him dancing and more to do with what it looks like to the basketball fans who see him.”
He said he understands the situation Embiid is in, but the young phenom should know better that to put himself in that situation while dealing with an injury.
“I could not believe that, Saturday, when I saw that video and listen, I know this is a 22-year-old kid and he’s going to have fun and I get it. No one’s trying to be the fun police, but he also needs to be aware that perception can sometimes be reality. When you haven’t played once in three weeks and you’re the only thing that this fan base really wants to see as it pertains to the Sixers, and we haven’t seen you nor have we been given a date as to when you’re going to return, I just don’t think it’s a good look for him, nor the organization, if you’re at a concert dancing around with your shirt off.”READ MORE: West Philly Double Shooting Leaves 30-Year-Old Man Dead, Teen Hospitalized: Police
Reese is more upset that General Manager Bryan Colangelo evaded questions about Embiid’s health during interview with him and Chris Carlin on Friday, only to reveal the full details on Saturday.
“Bryan Colangelo didn’t help himself by, basically, withholding that information…He cited HIPAA laws. I guess these are laws that prohibit him of disclosing players injuries…I don’t want to say he lied. He certainly didn’t tell us. I’ll say he withheld it and cited the HIPAA laws as the reason why he couldn’t tell us, but then, the next day, he told everyone.”
He believes the Sixers have actively avoided divulging this news for weeks.
“Now we find out that, not only did he tell us after he injured himself initially against the Portland Trailblazers, when he returned against the Rockets a week later, he was 100 percent healthy, he then had to back track Saturday night and say that they had an MRI on his knee the game he initially injured himself against the Portland Trailblazers and they found out the next day that he had a slight tear in his meniscus. He wasn’t 100 percent healthy when they allowed him to play [against] the Rockets and he’s been out longer since then. So, the injury is more serious than they let on, which makes the dancing appear to be even worse for the organization.”
Reese feels Colangelo has betrayed the trust of fans and needs to do a better job in the future of keeping those in seats and in the media accurately apprised of the status of their star players.
“The discussion over the last day or so has been whether or not we’re going to see Joel Embiid again this season. Will they sit him out for the rest of the year? Now people are worried about whether or not we’re going to see Ben Simmons at any point this season. It just seems like there’s been a trust bond that’s been broken with the Sixers and the fan base and they’re going to have to repair that. This latest news about Embiid and this slight tear, it’s fractured, the trust relationship with the fan base and the organization right now. They’re going to have to repair that. They really are. Bryan Colangelo is going to have to rebuild that trust with this fan base when it comes to disclosing information.”MORE NEWS: Police Investigating Series Of Gunpoint Robberies In Center City, West Philadelphia