Game 7 between the Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers was an emotional ride for anyone watching the game, let alone for those playing in it.
Neither team led by more than five points for the last quarter and a half, and Raptors star Kawhi Leonard dramatically ended the game with a bouncing buzzer-beater that hung in the air for what felt like minutes.
Joel Embiid was no exception, as the Sixers star center left the court in tears following the toughest loss of his career.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 13, 2019
Embiid was still emotional while walking through the tunnel towards the Sixers’ locker room, where he met up with his girlfriend Anne de Paula. After they embraced and she tried to encourage him, he returned to the locker room and looked up to the sky, as if looking for answers.
Give us a guy who cares this much.
Give us a guy who pours his heart out after a heartbreaking loss.
Thank you, Joel Embiid. You will be back. pic.twitter.com/G2uqTP2Day
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) May 13, 2019
Athletes often try to keep a tough exterior up, but there’s nothing wrong with players expressing emotions after pouring their heart out all season, playoffs and game.
It’s healthy to express feelings from happiness to devastation to frustration, and Embiid has shared plenty along the way. If anything, this can help him improve along the way to reaching the top of the mountain.
After the game, Embiid was asked about where the team was in The Process at this point, and he simply said, “I don’t give a damn about The Process.”
“It’s going to be a life memory that, as painful as it feels now, it will help shape his career and give him grater clarity of what this time of the year represents,” Sixers head coach Brett Brown said. “It’s hard to be the last man standing.”
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