- Joel Embiid trolled Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell into a cheap technical foul on Monday night.
- After the game, Embiid openly admitted to flopping on the play, causing reporters to laugh at his bluntness on the matter.
- The move shows Embiid’s potential to become one of the legendary trash talkers in the league.
Despite being just 45 games into his NBA career, Joel Embiid is already showing a range to his game that makes some believe he could go down as one of the greatest players ever.
During the Sixers’ road trip, Embiid played some of the best games yet in his career, including a 46-point performance against the Lakers that served as a coming out party to any basketball fans who weren’t yet aware of Embiid’s dominant abilities.
But on Monday night against the Utah Jazz, Embiid showed a different type of dominance – that of the mental mind games that can take over NBA courts.
In the third quarter, Embiid delivered a hard block to Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell. After the play, he stared down Mitchell as he was on the ground, said some words, and began to trot back to the Sixers side of the floor. In response, Mitchell got up and shoved Embiid. When Embiid embellished the contact and fell to the ground, Mitchell was immediately hit with a technical foul, which Embiid mimed along with and used to pump up the home crowd.
You can watch the whole scene play out below.
Joel Embiid, ladies and gentlemen. pic.twitter.com/qkI6PbS3Bo
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) November 21, 2017
While the play obviously started with Embiid’s physical dominance, after the block, it’s the center’s tendency to troll that takes over on the court, and he employs in to perfection. As soon as Mitchell makes contact with him he falls to the floor – all seven feet and 250 pounds of him – in a heap in order to draw the foul, which he then celebrates with an smile that reads simply, “Gotcha.”
Despite a relatively mediocre statline from Embiid – 15 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks in 27 minutes of work – his provocation of Mitchell still provided him with the highlight of the night as the Sixers took the win 107-86.
After the game, Embiid openly acknowledged the fact that he flopped while speaking with reporters. “Obviously I blocked the shot, and said then I something to him,” Embiid said when asked to talk through the play. “And then he just got up and kind of fake shoved me, and I flopped, and he got a technical for it. So that’s basically how it happened.”
Reporters broke out in laughter after he admitted to “flopping” so openly.
Embiid added that it was all a light-hearted affair though, saying “But it’s all fun after the game. We shook hands. It was all fun.”
You can watch Embiid’s post-game interview below.
The NBA is known for its legendary trash talkers, from Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett to current title-holder Draymond Green. But not even 50 games into his young career, Embiid is already showing an acumen for the art form, and getting results.
Combined with his fantastic play on the court and his fun-loving social media presence that has made him so beloved throughout the league, Embiid is developing into a true triple-threat.