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Keith Pompey, Philadelphia Inquirer Sixers Reporter

JR Sports Brief / JR
The Truth Network Radio
April 16, 2024 7:45 pm

Keith Pompey, Philadelphia Inquirer Sixers Reporter

JR Sports Brief / JR

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April 16, 2024 7:45 pm

Keith Pompey joined JR to discuss the latest health update on Joel Embiid and if the Sixers are capable of making a deep postseason run. 

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Hey, man, thanks for having me on. Without a shadow of a doubt. My first question. Joel Embiid's dropping like 30 points since he's been back. He's only played about five games.

Friday, he tweaks his knee, doesn't plan the season finale. What's the latest on Mr. Embiid? You know, Embiid practiced today. He practiced yesterday. You know, the coach said he was a full participant. You know, I expect them to play tomorrow. Now they have them listed as questionable, but they always have listed as questionable besides that one time they got fined, right?

Two times. But but yeah, so I do expect Joel to play. You know, he's had what is going to be what, three days off the rest.

So I fully expect him to play tomorrow. What's the vibe from Sixers fans? What's the city's vibe when it comes down to Embiid? Is there hope? Is there optimism? Is there cautious optimism? Skepticism? What's the city's vibe? When he tweaked his knee that last game, or on Friday's game, I was like, here we go again.

He's injured again. So I think that people were extremely excited. But now they're a little cautious. You know what I mean? It's kind of like, they're waiting for the bottom to drop out, so to speak. But they're extremely cautious. And they hope that everything goes well. But but it's one of those things where it's like, we can't get into a postseason without Embiid being injured.

So that's kind of like what everybody's talking about. Nikith Pompeii is here with us from the Philadelphia Inquirer. When you think about what this team can can max out at, obviously, they have to get past the Miami Heat tomorrow. Do you feel confident that they'll do so with Embiid out there? Yeah, I think with Embiid out there, I think, though, I think, I mean, I'm not 100% confident, you know what I mean? Because I think it's going to be a tough match. And a lot of times, whenever you think the Sixers are going to definitely do something is when they go the opposite direction. But I but I do think that if everything plays well, like if Embiid is like 90%, right? And if Maxey is hitting some shots, I think they're going to be tough to beat. I really do.

I really do. Well, Keith, being the fact that you you cover the Sixers day in and day out, what was that that final situation with with Jimmy Butler in Philadelphia? We know he was he was there. And now he's with the Heat. Is he still holding a grudge on how things went down? I think he uses it as motivation.

You know what I mean? To when when he gets there, but I think that he's looking at Miami now, like that's a way better situation. You know, I mean, let's, you know, I grew up in Philly and not a knock against Philly. I love my city. But if you had to tell me I had to live in Miami or live in Philadelphia, I mean, I'm hopping on the first plane going to, you know, South Florida.

Now, you know, especially like no state income tax, the whole nine, right? So, but I think he uses that motivation. And then, you know, a lot of people say they go back with the Tobias Harris over me. Well, it was never really Tobias Harris, they chose actually Ben Simmons over you. You know, so Tobias ended up getting the money. But it was it was really they chose Ben Simmons over. So that was a crazy situation.

But, you know, it was, you know, it got a little bit of a added, you know, added on some things that wasn't actually true, you know, if you know what I mean. Keith Pompeii is here with us from the Philadelphia Inquirer. The East, I don't want to say it's kind of it's messy right now. The Celtics sit in number one. Everybody's waiting on them to get over the hump and some of the late game executions, Funky, the Bucks, Giannis, they don't know his status. Right now, the New York Knicks, they're under or shorthanded, I should say, with no Julius Randle. Do you think this is probably the best case scenario for a returning and beat and sixes?

It is, though. But, you know, the crazy part about it, though, I mean, it sounds great. But the deal is the two teams that outside of Boston that I fear the most form is Miami because, you know, we talked about Jimmy and Spolsters, a great coach in the New York Knicks look phenomenal. You know, the so if the New York Knicks or anything like they were the last couple seasons, where they basically played better in the regular season than they did in the in the postseason, you know what I mean?

It just seemed like that stuff kind of dropped off. Yeah, this is great for the Sixers because then the second round will probably be against Milwaukee and Indiana. Right. And then that's setting up something for them to go far.

Now, I don't see that. I don't think that they can beat Boston. But I think that if Joel Embiid can stay healthy, because that's the key, you know, as much as as good as he is, like when you take him off that team, they look like a lottery squad if you're going to be real.

Right. But when he plays, they are a formidable foe. Guys fit in well, they play well together.

But it's all about Joel. Now, if he can stay healthy, and if he can play at that level, like he was playing in the regular season, I do think that they'll eventually beat New York, maybe in six games. They'll beat Miami tomorrow. And I think that, you know, they're setting themselves up to play the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Well, Keith, I certainly hope that this bears fruit. It just really sucks. Just as a basketball fan to have to talk about an MVP, a premier player, and it's always if he's healthy, if he's healthy, if he's healthy.

I don't think there's a human being who thinks that he's going to, quote unquote, get better as he ages. And if I were a Sixer fan, I'd be looking at this like, oh, my God, we had Ben Simmons and then he crapped out physically and mentally. And then we have this this giant and we got him for what?

What is he under contract for? Another three years, definitely after this with Embiid? Yeah. Yeah. Three more. Yup. For three more.

Maybe I think 100, a little over 100 and 150 mil too. Yeah. But the team around him, it just he has to, like you said, he has to be there.

I feel like I'm waiting for the house to come down when it comes to waiting on Embiid to stay healthy. Yeah. And that's the problem, right? You know, it's one of those things where, you know, some people just have bad luck, right? Some people play hard and they dive and they do stuff like that. And he's a big guy. And it just seems like, you know, whenever like this was going to be the first year that Embiid went without serious injuries. And, you know, you think of it and then all of a sudden his knee starts acting up. And I'm talking about before he tore his meniscus, you know, against Golden State.

Right. But it's tough, man, because, you know, you see how good he is. I mean, you see how good the guy is. But at the same time, it's like all of us, even the reporters, everybody, everybody's thinking like, oh, like every time he hits the floor, you're like, is he going to get up?

What's going to happen? You know, I mean, it's just it's tough to watch. It's tough to cover because he's such a great player, but he's never been able to fully live up to what he can do just because he's always been battling injuries. Even when you think he's healthy, he's battling something.

He's just not telling you, you know. Yeah. The story of what will be presumably the rest of his career. Keith Pompeii is here with us from the Philly Inquirer. Someone who battled injuries.

No one will take anything away from him is Allen Iverson. We saw that statue go up last week outside of the practice facility. A couple of questions. I know a lot of people were laughing out the size of the statue, but it was in line with the rest of the statues out at the facility. Why are the statues at the facility as opposed to the arena?

Yeah, that's a great question. But is everyone always asked that because they don't they don't own the arena. So they're basically renting, you know, the property is the flyers arena. So, you know, then and when they did this, it was out of the police that you would have it there, because when the players walk in to where they walk into the employee's entrance or the player's entrance, you basically see all these sculptures and, you know, like and then you come in there in the building and you see the retired jerseys and you see the banners, championship banners. So it is kind of sort of like, look, this is what we had in the past.

And, you know, Maxie and then be like, you know, you guys going to be the next two or among the next two. So that's why they have it there. And, you know, it's unfortunate, like, you know, if they would have had their own arena and they own their own arena, you know, it would be one of those things that, you know, they probably will be instead of sculptures, being, you know, big life sized statues outside of the building. Now, a lot of them, though, it's ten of them. So I don't know if you have ten statues outside the arena, but there's a lot of them, though.

Everyone who made the Hall of Fame or won championship, stuff like that, you know, they're outside that building. Well, Keith, the last question and speaking of the guy who just got his and Allen Iverson, I know it's taken years for the full appreciation. And I know you even had an article about hopefully Allen being at peace.

It feels like that. I mean, every time you hear you see him, you don't hear anything else outside of that. He's not sitting around on everybody's blog and he just seems to be at peace.

What's the latest that you hear about Allen Iverson and what he's up to? You know, it's weird. Like, it's funny, you know, the worst kept secret is that he wanted to get a job working for the Sixers.

And it's kind of like, you know, that didn't happen. But Nick Nurse is a guy who wanted him around to be like he wants him around to be like a mentor, so to speak, to the players. So that's what he is. Whenever he comes around, he's always been Tyrese Maxey here, you know, and B's here, the other guy's here. And basically saying, look, you've got to be aggressive. You've got to do this.

You've got to do that. You know, give him pointers and whatnot. But, you know, to me, it's kind of like Allen Iverson has turned into being the best fan in the world. And what I mean, a fan of basketball, because every time you talk to him, it's like you got to say some dude, you're Allen Iverson, because he's always praising another player like, you know, I love his game. He's this, he's that. And he's going up to players like, hey, I'm a big fan of yours. And the guys are looking at him like, dude, you're Allen Iverson. Like, I wear your jersey.

Like, what are you talking about? But but that's just who he is. It's like it seems like he comes to the game. He has his friends. And he's sitting back and just being a fan of the Sixers and not just the Sixers, but other players, you know, other teams. So that's what he's really been up to, man, like enjoying life and enjoying life for a lot of his ups and downs since he was a kid. I think it's pretty cool that that hopefully he is enjoying that to the fullest right now.

Hey, Keith, thank you for taking the time to hop on. Let's see what these Sixers do throughout the course of the postseason. I like you.

I think they're going to get rid of the heat tomorrow, but we got to see. And of course, it boils down to the seven foot one, seven to man, right? Yeah, a lot boils down to him because I'm like, no offense. And I get it. Everybody saying how good they are.

But when you take him off that team, they lose a lot. Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Without a shadow of a doubt. Keith, where can people follow you and all your work with the Enquirer? You can follow me at, of course, but you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram at Pompeii on Sixers, P-O-M-P-E-Y on Sixers. Hey, Keith, thank you again for taking the time to hop on. We'll catch you on down the line, OK? All right. Thanks for having me on, man. What up, y'all? It's your boy, Danny Green, three time NBA champ.

You either rooted for me or rooted against me. Join myself and my co-host Harrison Sanford on the Inside the Green Room podcast. It's a podcast that brings you never before told tales from the locker room to candid interviews of basketball legends to breakdowns of what's happening in the NBA right now. Whether you're a diehard fan or casual about your hoops, this podcast brings you the game like never before.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-16 21:13:08 / 2024-04-16 21:19:33 / 6

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