- The Sixers lost four straight contests to start the month before Embiid alluded to leaving Philadelphia in an Instagram exchange with former teammate Jimmy Butler.
- 76ers fans booed the 7-footer before the team took on the Los Angeles Clippers at the Wells Fargo Center Tuesday night.
- After dropping 26 points and nine rebounds in the 110-103 win, Embiid extended an olive branch to fans by saying "I love my city... I'm happy to be here."
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Joel Embiid has been a favorite among Philadelphia 76ers fans ever since he was drafted by the franchise in 2014.
But just as quickly as the Cameroonian big man endeared himself to Philadelphia's faithful, he lost their favor at least temporarily.
Fans booed Embiid at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia the Sixers' home arena before the team took on the Los Angeles Clippers Tuesday night.
Tensions have been high in Philadelphia for the past few weeks, as the 76ers lost four straight games including falling to the hapless Atlanta Hawks starting in late January. With Philadelphia heading into Tuesday night's contest owning a 9-8 record since the start of the new year and Embiid publicly broadcasting his discontent with the team , the 7-footer's social media activity was put under the microscope and became the subject of controversy.
On Monday night, Embiid posted a photo of himself on Instagram with the caption "You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain. #TheProcess." Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler hinted at luring his former 76ers teammate to South Beach by commenting "I know a place where villains are welcome " on the post.
Embiid replied "Damn right my brother," inciting panic in the City of Brotherly Love and earning himself some serious hostility from his team's fanbase.
Despite the crowd's jeers early in the night, Embiid and his Philadelphia teammates seemed to right the ship with a much-needed 110-103 win against Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and the rest of the Clippers. The three-time NBA All-Star registered 26 points, nine rebounds, and two assists in the victory and seemed to extend an olive branch to 76ers fans in his post-game interview.
"I love my city," Embiid said. "They've showed me a lot of love since I've been here. We go through ups and downs."
And during the post-game press conference, Embiid further stressed his love for the city of Philadelphia and the fan base that has welcomed him into its ranks.
"If you dish it, you have to be able to take it back," he told reporters. "At the end of the day, like I said in my [Instagram] location last night, it's all love. I love my city, I've been here for a long time now, and we have a special relationship. I'm happy to be here. I can't wait for the future, especially this year. I think we can accomplish something great."
The Sixers currently sit at fifth in the Eastern Conference standings with a 34-21 record. They'll host the Brooklyn Nets Thursday before traveling to Milwaukee to face Giannis Antetokounmpo and the first-place Bucks Saturday.
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