Joel Embiid speaking at some conference:
Embiid: “I just got fined for saying something that I think most people have been wanting to say, but I guess I was the guy to say it and I’m glad I said it.”
Random woman: “Maybe it didn’t need the curse word.”
Embiid: “Maybe we gotta chill on the curse word… but that’s just something I had to do because everybody been thinking about it, but I’m glad I did.”
God he’s a gem.
Allow me to be selfish for a moment: We’re not used to this in Philly. We don’t get national personalities like this. Yankees fans are used to this sort of thing. They’re comfortable with the fact that they’re already having to share Aaron Judge – his marketability is so rich and a phrase like “all rise” makes me so insanely jealous that I drunk dial it at 3 a.m. wondering who it’s with – with a national audience. Bur our stars are usually our stars. Roy Halladay, Chase Utley, Claude Giroux, Brian Westbook, Brian Dawkins– all of those guys were known nationally, sure, but they were ours. Even Allen Iverson, international superstar, had such an edge to him that we could lay claim to being the one city that truly got him. In recent years, maybe guys like Donovan McNabb and Chris Pronger had national appeal in their sports, but it’s rare we get truly national personalities. Embiid is a national personality. He’s played 31 games and he’s presenting at the ESPY’s. He’s doing national commercials. He has a very public beef with LaVar Ball. He’s talking on Variety sports panels.
From a blogging standpoint, I love it. From a fan standpoint, I don’t know how to feel. I’m an only child– I don’t like sharing. Embiid is great, but he’s not ours. He’s everyone’s. That will be hard to get used to.
Anyway, while Jojo was doubling down on his Ball comments, Ben Simmons added some fuel to this scorching hot, possibly contrived fire when he commented on LeBron James’ IG post about Lonzo Ball wearing Nike’s:
NBA beefs are so hot right now. So hot.
Side note: I think most of this stuff with Embiid is tongue-in-cheek. Simmons, on the other hand… that dude means it. I think he’s serious. I think he really wants to disembowel the Ball family. Should be fun to watch.