Daryl Morey on All-Star Game: 'Embiid completely hosed again' originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
No matter where you feel Joel Embiid sits in the hierarchy of uber-talented NBA players, you can't argue that he's the single best center in the Eastern Conference, and a top-5 player in the entire league. But because of the NBA's convoluted All-Star voting system, the best center in the East was not named a starter.
Sixers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey joined the Anthony Gargano Show on 97.5 The Fanatic Friday, and he came out swinging when the topic of his franchise player came up.
MOREY: Joel Embiid, completely hosed again. This time, to your point, the perpetrators of the crime were the shameless media, who - most of them have recused themselves because they don't want to vote on something that affects players' paychecks - but the shameless, shameless Boston media is way over-represented, and they haven't recused themselves.
And they shoved Joel low enough so that he's not an All-Star starter, it's crazy.
GARGANO: Amen, brother. I can't take it. The other day I went on a rant about this whole thing. It's not right, it's just not right. I don't understand how a guy of his ilk, who has given you, night in, night out, I mean seriously, the type, the level of basketball that he has played? It's a crime. I mean, really!
I mean, the Commissioner [Adam Silver] should actually step in and do something about it!
MOREY: Yeah, well they do the opposite: they anti-do something about it. Instead of going to All-NBA and All-Star systems that would basically put the five best people on the floor, they continue to hold on to antiquated notions of symbols that we put next to players.
I think it's great that Morey goes to bat for his man, and rightfully so. Embiid is the best center in the East, and second place is light years away. As long as he is healthy and playing on par with what we've seen the last few years, he should be the starting center in the All-Star Game forever.
Honestly, I was right there with him until he got to "the shameless, shameless Boston media." Not sure where that came from. Jayson Tatum has been dynamite this season, and is fully deserving of starting in the All-Star game, as much as it pains me to say. I don't think there was a conspiracy afoot in Boston - or the league office, or anywhere else - so much as a flaw in the overall process.
After the starters were announced last night, the NBA revealed the full voting results. When determining All-Star starters, fan voting counts toward 50 percent of the equation, and media voting and current player voting split the other 50 percent.
Among East frontcourt players, Embiid ranked fourth in fan voting, and third in both media and player voting. His weighted score of 3.5 finished behind Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo (1.25), Kevin Durant of the Nets (2.5) and Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (2.75). The only other center in the top ten in the East was Miami's Bam Adebayo, who finished eighth.
He's the defending NBA scoring champion, and leads the league again this season. He has been back-to-back runner-up for the MVP award. PointsBet currently has Embiid's odds to win the NBA MVP at +650, third-shortest and tops among Eastern Conference players, behind Nikola Jokic (-165) and Luka Doncic (+450).
It's inexplicable and insulting that Embiid is not included among the best five players in his conference. The NBA historically does a pretty good job of putting its best players on showcase situations. To continue this tact, the league needs to seriously reevaluate the way it determines its All-Star starters.