Does Sixers' Joel Embiid need to protect himself better on the court?

Does Sixers' Joel Embiid need to protect himself better on the court?

There are a lot of words to describe Sixers center Joel Embiid. Amazing. Uncanny. Special.

Lately, a few others are coming to mind. How 'bout injury-prone? Scary? Reckless?

Embiid hasn't played in 11 of the Sixers' last 12 games, and at this point isn't expected to return until after the NBA All-Star break. That doesn't put him back in uniform until February 25, more than a month after sustaining what was once termed a "knee contusion."

No big deal. The Sixers' playoff push was a farce anyway, and rest and recovery are what's best for Embiid right now.

The real question we should probably be asking is not when will Embiid return, but what kind of player will he be once he's back? Because just watching him for one game is enough to make a serious examination as to whether he's going to continue to put himself and his career in jeopardy on a nightly basis.

Let's go back to the tape against the Rockets (we spliced video of these plays together in a clip above).

After winning the tip, Embiid takes the pass at the top of the key, drives to the basket and dunks OVER Nene on the Sixers' opening possession. The Wells Fargo Center roars in approval as Embiid lands awakwardly on his right leg and nearly comes crashing haphazardly to the hardwood.

In the second quarter, Embiid faces up Nene, cuts across the basket and lays the ball into the hoop, but does hit the deck this time, gingerly falling to the floor on the finish. Moments later at the other end, Embiid rushes into the corner to defend Sam Dekker's three-point attempt, only to wind up in the Rockets bench.

Then in the third, Embiid skies for an alley-oop from Dario Saric, yet is brought to the ground again — hard this time — when he's fouled by Patrick Beverly. Shortly after, Embiid chases down James Harden from behind and swats away the easy slam, only his knees appear to buckle on the way down.

Fourth period, Embiid is back in the front row on defense.

That was all from the last time Embiid played a game for the Sixers, and it turns out he had a torn meniscus at the time, the result of another ugly landing. Unfortunately, it's an all-too-common occurence to see the 7-foot-2 center make an uneasy touch down or on the floor, and ever prior to his latest injury, it was quite worrisome.

Keep in mind, we're talking about one of the faces of the Sixers franchise here, a 22-year-old who missed two full seasons already because of a foot problem — albeit a freak injury, but still concerning nonetheless. Of course we love the effort, yet at this rate, how long can his body withstand these types of beatings, night in and night out?

Obviously, asking Embiid to bring that energy level down by even a notch is easier said than done. He's not a certain 6-foot guard, though, nor should he be playing like such, especially at this stage of the Sixers' rebuilding process, when so little is on the line.

The style of playing honestly is at least a little reminiscent of Allen Iverson, in terms of the seeming total disregard Embiid shows for his body. He's captivating audiences like Iverson, too.

But Embiid isn't Iverson. Big men tend to break down easier to begin with, let alone those with a history of lower-body injuries. And few if any NBA superstars took the drubbings AI did with such regularity and were still great for very long.

Ultimately, it might be Embiid's responsibility to take better care to protect himself when he's on an NBA court. You could also make the case that it's the Sixers' imperative to impart this to him, if they haven't already.

Embiid's importance to the Sixers isn't vastly different than that of Carson Wentz's to the Eagles, and how do people react any time he's exposed to an unnecessary hit? Wentz is told to get out of harm's way all the time, and peppered with questions from the media roughly every other week there's a situation when he doesn't.

Watching Embiid play like a guard in a center's body is a legitimate thrill, and the degree to which you want to see him rein it in might vary. Yet up to this point, it's a concern that doesn't seem to be getting much attention, if it's been voiced at all. If anything, people want to know when the minutes and game restrictions will be lifted.

Until he starts to show some regard for his own safety on the court, the Sixers would be best served to continue putting limitations on Embiid. The organization can't protect him forever, but until he learns to protect himself, maybe they should continue doing what they can.

Joel Embiid is the Joel Embiid of trash talking

Joel Embiid is the Joel Embiid of trash talking

Joel Embiid was back in the gym on Wednesday afternoon after enjoying his All-Star break down in New Orleans and appears like he's ready to get back out on the court this weekend.

“I hope that they’re going let me play,” Embiid said after practice on Wednesday. “I feel great. I want to play. If it was my decision, I’d be playing.”

The team doctor's aren't so sure. Joel is currently listed as doubtful for both of the Sixers games this weekend.

But that didn't stop JoJo from talking some smack with one of his favorite teammates, Dario Saric, while battling in a little one-on-one after practice.

Embiid was seen by reporters using some colorful language directed in Saric's direction, screaming "you can't ****-ing guard me!" while the two went at it.

The chatter didn't stop there. Embiid was later asked about the one-on-one and unleashed a little more on Dario.

"He don't like playing me," Embiid said. "He never wins and he doesn't handle me talking trash to him. I would love to play against him all the time because that gives me a lot of confidence beating him every day."

"It's fun playing against him. We both like to compete."

"That's my guy," he added.

And Sixers fans love them both. Let's just hope to see more of them teaming up in actual games soon.

1992 interview between Donald Trump and Randall Cunningham surfaces

1992 interview between Donald Trump and Randall Cunningham surfaces

Philadelphia Magazine's Dan McQuade unearthed a YouTube video of a 1992 interview former Eagles quarterback Randall Cunningham did with real estate tycoon Donald Trump from his short-lived interview special titled Randall Cunningham’s Celebrity Rap.

Apparently, it was a show on WCAU where Cunningham sat down with random celebrities. As McQuade points out, it is pretty weird.

And one of those celebrities just so happened to go on to become president of the United States.

There isn't a whole lot about sports. Trump briefly mentions Randall's career with the Eagles and also discusses Mike Tyson and his rape conviction. Trump appears sympathetic to Tyson's struggles.

Mostly it's a puff piece in which Trump talks somewhat aimlessly from topic to topic. If you don't want to waste 15 minutes watching it, Philly Mag summarized the most bizarre moments