By Tommy Matthews

Sixers center Joel Embiid was named an All-Star game starter today when the NBA announced that Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Zion Williamson are injured and sidelined for the Feb. 19 game in Salt Lake City.

Initially, Embiid came behind Giannis Antetokounmpo, Durant and Jayson Tatum in Eastern Conference frontcourt voting. Embiid, who’s averaged 33.3 points, 10.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists, said he was “not surprised” to be passed over.

“I think it’s well-documented that I’m not well-liked, and that’s cool,” Embiid said on Jan. 28.

“I don’t know if it’s because I troll a lot or that I’m, I guess, an asshole. But it’s cool. I’ll keep being me, I’ll keep being an asshole, and I’ll keep trolling. If people don’t like it, that’s their problem. … It all goes back to winning. When you look at how many times he was an All-Star, they’re not going to say, ‘He was a starter this many times.’

“Having been a starter the last five years, it is kind of disrespectful. I don’t think anybody has had a better year than me. But … just focus on the right things and everything is going to go well for you.”

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