Joel Embiid is Trolling Us, and That’s Probably a Good Thing

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Photo credit: © Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Heart palpitations last night after Joel Embiid went on Instagram and dropped a cryptic post with this caption:

“You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” 

Harvey Dent quote from The Dark Knight. Russ wrote up the story and included the response from Jimmy Butler, who said, “I know a place where villains are welcome,” which got everybody all flustered. Was he recruiting Embiid to Miami? Was this just another bullshit slab of NBA drama? Was it trolling?

It was trolling, with Embiid posting this less than an hour later:

It’s just Joel giving it back to the fans, which he’s perfectly entitled to do. They clap at him, he claps back, and then hopefully starts playing like himself again.

More than anything, this is feels like a return to the old Embiid, who was jovial and playful on social media, who talked some shit and was slightly immature. He’s spoken openly, on more than one occasion, about finding that balance between growing up a bit and still being the cheeky bloke he’s always been.

You might recall this exchange from just two months ago:

My take:

I feel like Jo has always been very smart from a pure intelligence point of view but has been back and forth kind of navigating the “wisdom” side of things, if that makes any sense. It’s sort of like “emotional intelligence,” which Jeffrey Lurie used a few years ago. Joel is really clever and knowledgeable but I think has struggled to discover his true identity as a superstar athlete in Philadelphia, which is evidenced by the up and down emotional ride he seems to embark on each season.

Either way, we know that this 1.0 version of Embiid finds more enjoyment playing the game of basketball, so maybe it’s best that he stays in this mindset for the rest of the season.

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11 Responses

  1. So it’s fine for Embiid but not fine for this “irreverent” sports blog, since all you and Kylie do is whine about the “trolls” (i.e. your most devoted supporters).

  2. Are we just going to forget that Embiid hushed the crowd and told fans to STFU. Nevermind, he’s just trolling us so it’s fine.

    1. What’s the alternative? You going to lead a boycott of the team? Funny how fans in this city think they have any power or influence on the behavior of our athletes.

      1. No one is talking about boycotting games or influencing athletes. The point is that he acted like a douchebag and some fans seem to be making excuses for it.

        1. Let me rephrase my question then. What are you going to do about this GREAT DISRESPECT that Joel Embiid showed you and so many other of the Philly faithful at Wells Fargo the other night? If you have the right as a fan to boo, he has the right to tell you to STFU, trolling or not. Pretty straightforward if you ask me.

        2. Actually, the douchebags were the “fans” who booed a guy who plays on a team that is 23-2 at home. some of those fans booing probably haven’t seen a home loss all year. they read the paper, they listen to the radio, and they boo. It’s so cliche, that philly fans feel like they have to boo because “that’s who we are”.

  3. He is playing professional basketball about 10 years after first picking up a ball. He is living half way around the world from hhis home. He is speaking a 4th(?) language. He is trying to put it all together and make the toughest yet most loyal fans in sports happy. I’m gonna cut him a little slack

  4. Unfortunately, just like with most things, social media is the center of it all. I know I’m a dinosaur but if people just let these guys blow off some steam, whine a little and not acknowledge them, it would be a non issue.

  5. It was appointment radio. It’s either that or pitchers and catchers.

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