Joel Embiid isn’t in the NBA to make friends. He wouldn’t indiscriminately trash talk everyone in his path if he cared about players who don’t don Philadelphia 76ers jerseys.
The latest example of his equal-opportunity disdain for the opponent came on Monday night following a victory over Los Angeles Clippers. Embiid piled on 32 points and 16 rebounds, registering a game-high plus-32 and shooting 4-of-8 in post-up situations. So, naturally, he took time during his postgame interview to throw a light jab at DeAndre Jordan, and then a heavier one at DJ’s backup, Willie Reed:
Embiid completes his masterful night of trolling the Clippers by telling Molly Sullivan he wanted to play “inside especially against DJ and … I don’t know what’s his name.”
— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) November 14, 2017
Neither player fared very well against Embiid. Then again, who does? He can be a turnover machine, but he’s an absolutely monster in the post, even though his moves are far from polished. He leads the league in back-to-the-basket possessions burned through and is shooting 55.2 percent in those situations—second-highest mark among players to chew through 50 or more such touches, according to NBA.com.
Point being: Embiid’s destruction wouldn’t typically be cause for him to (deliberately) forget a player’s name. Reed isn’t a 15th man. He actually plays. And the Clippers aren’t a squad with no-names peppered up and down the roster. Embiid was clearly trying to send a message here on the heels of a rather chippy affair.
We’ll have to wait until Saturday, Feb. 10 to see whether said message was delivered. That’s when these two teams square off again, this time in Los Angeles. Don’t be surprised if and when there’s a little extra something-something going on between Embiid and Reed—or even, quite frankly, Embiid and Jordan.