Joel Embiid claims back issues began after LeBron James committed flagrant foul on him

Brad Sullivan
2 Min Read
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid is now indicating that the back trouble he’s been dealing with first began after he was on the receiving end of a flagrant foul from LeBron James.

The foul by James took place during the Los Angeles Lakers’ road game against the 76ers on Jan. 27. Embiid was in obvious pain after he hit the floor hard.

James was assessed a flagrant-1 foul on the play, with Embiid stating that a flagrant-2 call would have been more appropriate. In the aftermath of the foul, Embiid also took time to ridicule the idea that playing defense against James’ teammate Anthony Davis was difficult.

Since that play, the 76ers have played 10 contests, with Embiid playing in eight of those matchups. In the eight games that he’s taken the court, Embiid has actually been very prolific when it comes to on-court statistics.

In all but one of those games, Embiid has scored at least 30 points per game.

The 76ers have won six of the 10 games since James’ push of Embiid and currently have the best record in the Eastern Conference with a 19-10 mark.

Embiid is currently averaging 29.7 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.2 blocks per game.

While Embiid is apparently continuing to struggle with back issues, those numbers show that it’s scary to think of what he might be able to do when he returns to full health.

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Brad has written on a variety of both NBA and NFL topics and has worked previously as a sports information director at the collegiate level. A lifetime fan of sports, he's witnessed countless great moments in different sports and understands that stories can be compelling from both the perspective of winners and losers. As a frustrated fan of Cleveland sports, he experienced something unprecedented when the Cavaliers won the city's first championship in 52 years.