Stephen A. Smith picks Heat to beat 76ers because Embiid is “gimpy”


Stephen A. Smith has a history of generating controversy on ESPN. Wednesday night prior to the Play-In game between the Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat, Smith believed the Philadelphia 76ers would lose to the Miami Heat because their star center Joel Embiid of Yaounde, Cameroon was too “gimpy.”

Embiid’s Injury

Embiid has missed a significant part of the 2023-24 National Basketball Association season because of a knee injury. He was inactive from February 1 to March 31. In that time, the 76ers struggled as they only posted a record of 11 wins and 18 losses.

Embiid Played Very Well in Return

Since Embiid retuned to the 76ers, he has played extremely well. He had 24 points in a 109-105 76ers win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on April 2. The win over the Thunder was significant because the Thunder finished the season as the best team in the Western Conference. Embiid then scored 29 points in a 109-105 76ers win over the Miami Heat on April 4, 30 points in a 116-96 Philadelphia win over the Memphis Grizzlies on April 6, 37 points in a 120-102 Philadelphia win over the Detroit Pistons on April 9, and 32 points and 13 rebounds in a 125-113 Pistons win over the Orlando Magic on April 12.

Smith could have used different language

There is no doubt that Smith could have used different language to address Embiid’s injury. The word “is considered offensive” according to the Oxford Dictionary, and is considered a slang word to describe a disabled person. We know that Embiid is not disabled, but had a temporary injury. Smith should have just stated that he was concerned about Embiid’s health in his return from his ailment.

Reaction from X

Comments from X about Smith’s comments included “Stephen A. Smith just said during the pregame show that he’s picking the Heat tonight because Embiid still looks gimpy….Embiid since coming back is averaging 30.4 points and 9.2 rebounds in 30.6 minutes per game. That’s pretty good for gimpy”, and “Stephen A. just out here making stuff about how Embiid looks. In what world has he looked ‘too gimpy?'”


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