Sixers coach Brett Brown called a Sports Illustrated report on Joel Embiid and his attitude "wildly inaccurate" and "wildly unfair."
According to the article, published Friday morning, Embiid physically threatened the team's strength coach last season, causing Embiid to be sent home from a West Coast road trip. The report said Embiid, 21, repeatedly refused to answer questions by the training staff about his workouts as he rehabs from two surgeries on his right foot.
"It's just one of those things that we move on from," Brown said before a 127-118 preseason loss to Washington at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday night. "We're pretty much treating it as noise. We will move on from it."
The Sixers drafted Embiid with the third pick in 2014, less than a week after he had foot surgery. He had a second surgery on the same foot this past summer and has yet to play. He is slated to miss this season.
The report said some people in the team's front office wondered whether Embiid needed foot surgery in August because the center did not wear his walking boot as often as he was instructed to allow his initial surgery to heal. The report said Embiid refuses to eat healthful foods, opting for hot dogs, chicken fingers, and pitchers of Shirley Temple drinks instead of the fruit and vegetables placed in his hotel residence by a team employee.
"This story is old. It's been documented. The media did a hell of a job reporting accurately what has been going on," Brown said. "To all of a sudden wake up and have these things be revisited, I think in some ways is unfortunate and sad."
The report said that owner Josh Harris instructed Brown and general manager Sam Hinkie to keep Embiid from attending the Las Vegas Summer League. Brown said that was not true. Embiid, the article said, was "determined to go to Vegas to party."
The article said Embiid refused to wear the boot in Vegas and played basketball, even dunking. This, the article said, created a theory that Embiid reinjured the foot in Vegas. The team said that Embiid needed surgery in August because his initial injury did not heal properly.
"I'm proud of where Joel Embiid is at," Brown said. "He's had a rough few years of not playing. He will get there. We're moving him forward. And more importantly, he's moving himself forward."
Embiid had his leopard-print cast removed on Monday and watched Friday's game from the bench. Pierre Jackson finished with two points in limited minutes as the guard played his first preseason game after being sidelined with a groin injury. Nerlens Noel and Jerami Grant also played limited minutes. Jahlil Okafor missed the game with right knee soreness.
The Sixers fell behind, 41-22, after the Wizards shot a blistering 84 percent from the field in the first quarter. They rallied to cut Washington's lead to five with 1 minute, 10 seconds left, but could not get any closer.
Point guard T.J. McConnell played well, scoring 10 points and handing out 10 assists as he works to carve a role on the team. He plays aggressive defense and brings up the ball with energy. He is also a crafty passer, dishing no-look passes in transition and swift one-handed bounce passes to the low post.