Mandatory read for Philadelphia sports fans, whether you’re four for four, or five for five, or whatever:
Embiid’s Tribune article centers on his upbringing and how he came to understand basketball and excel at the game. He talks about his time as a teenager in Cameroon, his strict mother who did not let him watch the NBA on TV, and the lengths he went to to sneak out of his house and play street soccer instead of doing homework.
The best passage, by far, is when Joel explains how he went to Google to search for examples of how to shoot three pointers:
“I go to the search box like….
HOW TO SHOOT 3 POINTERS.
HOW TO SHOOT GOOD FORM
Then the light bulb went off, man. I typed in the magic words.
WHITE PEOPLE SHOOTING 3 POINTERS.
Listen, I know it’s a stereotype, but have you ever seen a normal, 30-year-old white guy shoot a three-pointer? That elbow is tucked, man. The knees are bent. The follow-through is perfect. Always. You know how in America, there’s always an older guy wearing like EVERLAST sweat-shorts at the court? That guy is always a problem. His J is always wet.”
Truer words have never been spoken. There’s ALWAYS some random white guy at the gym who can’t really move up and down the court, but when you pick him out in the 14 to 23 foot range he’s just deadly – elbow in, quick release, swoosh.
Joel also talks about his arrival in Lawrence and how he thought about quitting the Kansas hoops team after Tarik Black posterized him in practice:
“He dunked the ball off my head, for real. But I didn’t even tell you the worst part. The worst part was that the entire Kansas women’s hoops team was sitting in the bleachers watching the scrimmage. The whole gym was laughing at me. It was crazy. Seriously, it was like a WORLDSTAR situation.
So I went straight to Bill Self’s office afterward and I said, “I can’t do this. You have to redshirt me. I can’t play with these guys.”
And Bill was like, “What? Are you serious? In two years, you’re going to be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.”’
It’s a wonderful read.
Check it out below:
— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) August 31, 2018