Charles Barkley lays into 76ers for playing Joel Embiid despite back injury: 'They've got to be the stupidest organization'
Barkley had no patience for the Sixers testing their luck with Embiid's bad back on Thursday night
Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid went into Thursday's game against the Pacers a question mark with a bothersome back, and even though he was visibly wincing in pain during warm-ups, they played Embiid in a game against the Indiana Pacers -- the team just ahead of them in the standings. While Embiid came out with 22 points and 13 rebounds, he struggled early on and looked uncomfortable.
On "Inside the NBA's" halftime show, Charles Barkley laid into the Sixers for trotting Embiid out despite what looked like a clear injury, calling them the "stupidest organization in the history of sports" for playing with fire with Embiid.
"Let me just say this about the Philadelphia 76ers: They've got to be the stupidest organization in the history of sports," Barkley said. "You've got a franchise player who's got a bad back, who's injury prone. He can barely walk and you've got him out there playing in a regular-season game."
Kenny Smith and Shaquille O'Neal stepped in to pacify Barkley, with O'Neal saying Embiid could take himself out and Smith adding that they sat Embiid for a year. However, Barkley wouldn't be stayed, exclaiming "he's hurt!"
Embiid is obviously the player the 76ers want to run through, and Thursday night wasn't just any regular-season game. The Pacers have emerged as a real threat. However, although Embiid played well and the 76ers, back in action on Saturday against the Thunder (3:30 p.m. ET -- watch on fuboTV), got the win in dominant fashion, they may not want to keep tempting fate with their $150 million player.
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