The Philadelphia 76ers-Boston Celtics rivalry has been rekindled. But instead of Joel Embiid vs Jayson Tatum, it’s Daryl Morey vs the Boston media.
After Morey blamed Embiid’s All-Star snub on the “shameless Boston media” during an interview with Philly sports radio host Anthony Gargano on 97.5 The Fanatic, Sports Illustrated reporter and NBC Sports Boston analyst Chris Mannix responded with receipts.
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“The shameless Boston media is way over-represented,” the 76ers president ranted last week. “They haven’t recused themselves and they shoved Joel low enough so that he’s not an All-Star starter. It’s crazy.”
Monday night, Mannix was on NBC Sports Boston and he picked Morey’s rant apart. Mannix did so to prove Boston media shouldn’t be held accountable for Embiid’s snub. If anything, Sixers fans should be blamed for not voting Embiid in as an All-Star starter.
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“First of all, it’s pandering, obviously. He’s on a local radio station doing his thing,” Mannix said of Morey’s comments. “He’s also wrong. Let’s start there. He’s wrong. The media voted Joel Embiid number three. That means he was voted a starter by the media. The players voted Joel number three. The fans voted Joel number four. So maybe, Daryl, you should go to your marketing department and say, ‘How is it that Philadelphia, population 1.5 million, was outvoted by Milwaukee, population 500,000,’ and maybe we start figuring that out from there.”
Fans account for 50 percent of the voting to determine who will start the NBA All-Star Game. Meanwhile, current players and select media account for 25 percent each. The top three frontcourt players and top two backcourt players in each conference earn starting spots.
“Look, he’s talking probably about someone like me who, by the way, voted Joel Embiid as a starter over Giannis Antetokounmpo. Or he’s talking about Bill Simmons, or he’s talking about Ryen Russillo,” Mannix added.
Simmons and Russillo have since responded to the clip of Mannix’s rant. They acknowledged they similarly voted for Embiid over Antetokounmpo. So that’s at least three Boston media members who didn’t recuse their All-Star vote. And also, three who didn’t snub Embiid from being a starter.
Focused on the term “shameless” being used as an insult, Mannix proceeded to slam Morey for shamelessly leaving the Houston Rockets in shambles to join the readymade 76ers month later.
“Here’s what someone might consider shameless,” Mannix continued. “How about if you’re an executive of a team that you build up in a somewhat-contender way, and then when that team is on fire and burnt down to the ground, you leave, say you’re gonna take some time off, and then weeks later you reemerge with a contender. Some might say that is shameless.”
Because the media only accounts for 25 percent of the All-Star vote, Morey shouldn’t be pointing his finger at Boston’s All-Star voters. Instead, he should be pointing it at Philadelphia. Philly failed to get Embiid into the top-three of frontcourt players. But Morey going on a Philadelphia sports radio station to blast Philadelphia wouldn’t have been rallied around by Sixers fans nearly as much. That is, at least compared to his attempt to pit Embiid’s snub against Boston.