Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Embiid is back to embracing his heel role again.

Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers appear to be sick of hearing the hatred. After making a 3-pointer in the final minute of Philly’s 118-111 win over the Chicago Bulls on Sunday, Embiid put his finger over his mouth to shush the home crowd and could be seen saying “shut the f— up” to them.

That seemed to be a response to some fans booing him.

Embiid was asked after the game about the gesture and explained himself.

“Talking to myself…I’m just mad at myself, frustrated, gotta keep trying to get better every single play,” Embiid said of his gestures, via Philly Voice’s Kyle Neubeck.

“I don’t care how it looks, I’m just playing basketball, getting back to myself, being a good a–hole,” Embiid said.

Embiid acknowledging that he’s back to being an a–hole seems to be clear evidence he’s embracing the heel. Embiid is known as a great trash-talker, but he said he was going to get rid of that. It seems he plays better and more motivated when he’s engaged in beefs, so maybe this is best for him. And maybe the Sixers can thank Charles Barkley for that.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.


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Can you name the highest-paid players in the NBA?

Figures via Spotrac. 

$42.7M / HOU
James Harden
$42.7M / WAS
John Wall
$41.4M / HOU
Russell Westbrook
$41.1M / BRK
Kevin Durant
$40.2M / GSW
Stephen Curry
$39.9M / OKC
Chris Paul
$38.3M / LAL
LeBron James
$37.9M / GSW
Klay Thompson
$36.0M / PHI
Tobias Harris
$35.5M / MIL
Khris Middleton
$35.1M / BOS
Kemba Walker
$35.1M / MIA
Jimmy Butler
$34.9M / LAC
Kawhi Leonard
$34.2M / DET
Blake Griffin
$34.2M / LAC
Paul George
$34.1M / BRK
Kyrie Irving
$33.3M / TOR
Kyle Lowry
$31.9M / BOS
Gordon Hayward
$31.6M / DAL
Kristaps Porzingis
$31.6M / MIN
Karl-Anthony Towns
$31.6M / PHX
Devin Booker
$30.5M / UTA
Mike Conley
$30.1M / CLE
Kevin Love
$30.0M / DEN
Paul Millsap
$29.5M / DEN
Nikola Jokic
$29.5M / MIN
Andrew Wiggins
$29.5M / PHI
Joel Embiid
$29.3M / GSW
D'Angelo Russell
$27.9M / POR
Damian Lillard
$27.8M / SA
DeMar DeRozan

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