ESPN just released a great story by Ramona Shelburne called ‘The Greatest Story Ever Trolled.’ It’s about “playfull troll” Joel Embiid, the man behind many of the best and funniest posts by a NBA player on social media over the past few years. In it, he says his sometimes controversial post game troll posts aren’t meant to “hurt anybody’s feelings or create a situation,” he just “thinks it’s funny.” Most basketball fans will agree. Not only do I think they are often hilarious, I think it’s great for the league and it’s nice to see a player not walk on egg shells.
On Wednesday, a day after the 76ers OT victory over the Wolves, Embiid posted a pic of him scoring by Karl-Anthony Towns with the caption: “Euro stepping our way through Minnesota and we ended up raising the cat last night.” The amusing post got likes by everybody from teammate Markelle Fultz to former teammate Jahlil Okafor and Ben Simmons’ rookie of the year contender Donovan Mitchell. It did not get a like from Karl-Anthony Towns but it did get a reply from him: “That caption was as trash as your picture quality.”
Embiid, who scored a team-high 28 points to go with 12 boards and 8 assists in the win, responded with, “Better quality than your defense.”
In KAT’s defense (no pun intended), he did block Embiid twice in this game and had a pretty nice stat line of his own: 19 points, 16 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 blocks. But, he missed 10 of his 16 shots, all four of his three attempts and committed the foul that put Embiid on the free throw line to push the game to overtime.
As a big fan of KAT, I can’t leave this post without bringing up a game from last season, when Towns put up 25 points (12-18 FG) and 10 boards in a 110-86 beatdown on Embiid (10 points and 10 boards) and the 76ers. Be sure to go to the 3:50 mark of the following video to watch Towns pump fake Embiid before throwing down a vicious dunk.
Towns also won the statistical battle with Embiid earlier in the year, when he put up 23 points, 16 boards and 5 assists to Embiid’s 25 points, 8 boards and 3 assists. Embiid did get the two-point win, thanks to a game-winner by Robert Covington.
Just to be clear, I don’t think Embiid and Towns are serious and there is no beef between the two future All-Stars. Or any beef between Embiid and Hassan Whiteside, Andre Drummond, Draymond Green, that guy on the Clippers that Embiid doesn’t know or any other player in the league. But just remember, if a player ever does get offended and does want to “square up” with Embiid, he’s not worried.
“I’m a big dude so you don’t want to try me. And I’m African.”