For the fifth consecutive year, Sixers center Joel Embiid was named an Eastern Conference starter for the 2022 NBA All-Star Game in Cleveland.

Before the teams game tonight against the Lakers, Embiid was interviewed by Allie LaFocre, and acknowledged that both Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley have been tough on him in the past, but that it only made him work harder in the offseason.

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That's when O'Neal picked up and gave credit to Embiid for being able to take the tough love from the two former All-Stars.  However, he didn't hold back when giving his thoughts on Embiid's teammate Ben Simmons, who has yet to play a game this season for Philadelphia.

"The difference between (Embiid) and his soft partner (Simmons) is he can take criticism without being a crybaby, me and Charles (Barkley), we've been on him," Shaq said.

"He didn't cry. He didn't say I want to be traded or complain about mistreatment.  That's the difference, that's why I like and respect him.  The other guy I don't respect him, I would get rid of him."

 

Alright then. Some strong words from Shaq.

Embiid is the league’s third-leading scorer with a career-best 29.0 points per game along with 10.8 rebounds (10th in the NBA, sixth in the East), a career-high 4.3 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.4 blocks in 32.8 minutes per game.

Alongside Embiid in the starting lineup for the Eastern Conference is captain Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, DeMar DeRozan and Trae Young. For the West, the starters are captain LeBron James, Nikola Jokić, Andrew Wiggins, Ja Morant and Stephen Curry. 

 

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