There’s turbulence in Philadelphia.
Jimmy Butler wants Joel Embiid to know he’s welcome in the tranquil waters of South Beach.
Embiid addressed the drama surrounding the Philadelphia 76ers on Instagram Monday.
“You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain,” Embiid wrote alongside a picture of himself shushing the 76ers crowd.
The image was from Sunday’s home win that saw Embiid shush his own fans after hitting a late 3-pointer to close out the Chicago Bulls.
JOEL HANS EMBIID pic.twitter.com/WMtw6UnsTb— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) February 10, 2020
After the game, Embiid told reporters he was “just being a good a--hole” when asked about the shush gesture.
Embiid and the 76ers have been under a bevy of scrutiny amid a 33-21 start that has Philadelphia sitting 13 games behind the Milwaukee Bucks and looking up at the Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat in the East.
Embiid has received criticism locally and nationally as the 76ers have fallen short of expectations.
Butler responds to Embiid
Butler, his teammate for the second half of last season, commented on Embiid’s post with a message of welcome to join him with the Heat.
“I know a place where the villains are welcome,” Butler wrote.
It didn’t take long for Embiid to reply back with “Damn right my brother.”
I’m sure this is going to go over well pic.twitter.com/zUTrwW9Vqd— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) February 11, 2020
Divergent paths for Heat, 76ers
The Heat are the antithesis of the 76ers. A team with low expectations is approaching the All-Star break with a shot at a home series in the playoffs thanks in part to the savvy management of longtime team president Pat Riley and head coach Eric Spoelstra.
The 76ers are a haphazard collection of talent whose core of Embiid and Ben Simmons is on its third general manager since joining the league behind the controversial vision of Sam Hinkie.
Butler, who’s experienced both teams, is making his pitch to his talented former teammate.
Embiid: ‘PHILA TOUGH!!!’
Embiid responded on Twitter with what appeared to be a message to calm 76ers fans, claiming he’s “made for this.”
Embiid’s on the second of a five-year, $147 million deal he signed with the 76ers, making most of this conversation moot to begin with. Embiid’s fate lies in the hands of the 76ers, who would certainly never consider trading him to a conference rival like Miami, no matter if there was a falling out.
But Embiid is the exact kind of talent the Heat need to truly challenge the Bucks in the East. You can’t blame Butler for trying.
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