If you don’t know yet, Joel Embiid is a superstar. That is a fact. It is not up for debate. And I know it’s borderline insanity to say that just 53 games into his career, but it’s the truth. And I’m not saying that because he’s a 7-footer hitting threes and dropping Eurosteps. Or the numbers he puts up, which are insane, like the 28, 12, and 8 that he had against the Timberwolves on Tuesday night, including 11 points in the fourth quarter and overtime. All of those are great, but that’s not why he’s a superstar.
He’s a superstar because the Sixers didn’t play Wednesday and I’m talking about him on Thursday. And because his social media game is just as good, if not better than his basketball game. And that’s saying something.
Last night, he posted a pic of himself against the Timberwolves with Karl Anthony Towns in the background, with the caption: Euro stepping our way through Minnesota and we ended up raising the cat last night #TheProcess
Towns fired back in the comments with a strong line: “That caption was as trash as your picture quality.”
But that was KAT’s mistake. Because as good as that line was, you just entered the ring against Tyson in his prime. And Embiid went for the knockout: “Better quality than your defense.”
BAM! And that, friends, is why Joel Embiid is Joel Embiid and everyone else is not. He just invited KAT into the ring and then turned out the lights with one punch. He raised the cat and then knocked him out. And like any great genius, from the moment he posted that pic, you knew something was going to happen. But when it did, it was even better than I expected.
And don’t think for a second that The Process doesn’t know how the process works. He knows that he’s a hero now, but eventually he’ll become a villain. As he told ESPN: “People love you at the beginning. But at some point they’re gonna start hating you. LeBron. Russell Westbrook. All the superstars. Even Steph. He’s so likable. He does nothing wrong, but some people still hate him. It just comes with the nature of it. I’ve seen it. I feel like I’m about to go through it. I think it’s coming. People always want something new.”
This dude doesn’t just have a ton of it, he gets it. He knows how it works. He’s seen this movie before he’s lived it. But let me say this, Joel, if people start turning on you and start hating you, I will fight them. Because anyone who hates you hates themselves. You can’t like basketball and not love Joel Embiid. Check that, you can’t like life and not love Joel Embiid.
There are a ton of guys who have game on the court. And a few who have game on social media. But nobody has Embiid’s combination of game on the court and social media. His basketball ability is up there with anyone who’s laced up and his Twitter skills are up there with anyone who’s ever logged on. I mean, I’m starting to wonder how I was able to enjoy the NBA without Embiid in it and how I was able to use social media before he got there. And now that I’ve seen him on both, I don’t want to imagine either one without Joel Hans Embiid.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, keeping him healthy is a national priority. Keeping Joel Embiid on the court is the second-most important thing in the world right now. Second only to keeping a phone in his hand because that’s the single most important thing in the world right now. I don’t play favorites. Ever. But I’ll admit this. And I’ll own this. I LOVE JOEL EMBIID. And if you want to hate this guy, go ahead and hate me too. Because I love Joel Embiid. I don’t play favorites, but Joel Embiid might just be my favorite athlete. Hell, he might be my favorite human being.
Reminds me of way back in the day, when I was on my way up in this business, my favorite dude to talk to and talk about was Terrell Buckley. That was my dude, T-Buck. And the clones knew it. One day this clone runs into tbuck and asked him, man what’s Rome deal with you. He’s always hyping you to which tbuck replied, “I don’t know, man. He just loves me.” Right. Just like I love Embiid. This dude is a once in a generation player and personality. And if you hate him, it’s only because you hate yourself.