But as good as Simmons was last night, and he was great, he wasn’t the real star. I can’t believe I’ve waited this long to talk about JOEL HANS EMBIID. It is not a stretch to say that he owns LA. 32 and 16 against the Clippers on Monday and then chased that with, hold on a second, let me take a breath before this stat line: 46 points, 15 rebounds, 7 blocks, and 7 assists.
The first player in recorded NBA history with a stat line like that. And he did it in 34 minutes. He literally did everything. Post-up, face up, dunk, you name it. He was 2 of 3 from deep and 16 of 19 from the line. He was four points away from a 50-point game and he still hasn’t played 50 NBA games.
And like any big star, he loves the big stage and the bright lights: “I love LA. I love the Staples Center. I wanted to come out here and put on a show.”
And I’ll be damned if he didn’t. I’m not sure what’s more amazing, the seven blocks or the seven assists. Or the fact that he was Eurostepping fools.
That’s a dude who’s listed at 7 feet dropping a freaking Eurostep on his way to the hoop. That is unreal. Almost as unreal as him going catch-and-shoot from beyond the arc too.
So smooth, so effortless, for a moment, I thought that was JJ Redick. And that is totally unfair. A 7-footer who can block 7 shots, hit two threes, and be that fluid in the lane? I’d say that’s the future of the league, but when he’s going for 46, 16, 7 and 7, he’s the present of the league.
And when he wasn’t clowning defenders, he was joking with Kevin Hart courtside. This dude is a star. Don’t believe me, check his postgame comments.
“Tonight towards the end [The Lakers] started double-teaming me. Too late. The game was over by then.”
Damn. Or try this.
Shoutout Hassan Whiteside. Or his disappointment that the Lakers didn’t have anyone who was willing to trade smack with him: “Too bad there wasn’t any trash-talker out there. But I still had fun and I got going. I just wanted to be aggressive. That’s my new mentality. I can’t wait to keep the same momentum.”
Neither can I, Joel. I know I’m about to move to a new studio, but I am this close to cancelling those plans and taking the show on the road and just following the Sixers around the country. Because that’s how exciting he is and they are. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the only way I could love him more is if he was my own son. You don’t have to Trust The Process. But you better Believe Embiid.