Saturday 24th March 2018,
The Hoop Doctors

Trust The Process: Joel Embiid’s Recruitment of LeBron James is Officially Underway

Trust The Process: Joel Embiid’s Recruitment of LeBron James is Officially Underway

joel embiid

Joel Embiid wasted little time in using the Philadelphia 76ers’ victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night to his advantage.

On the heels of his team’s 108-97 deconstruction of the reigning Eastern Conference champs, the expert-Instagrammer subtly began his public courtship of LeBron James:

Is this tampering? It feels like tampering.

Even though Joel Embiid claims it’s not tampering:

Right. Sure thing, Joel. Your “#summer2018goals” hashtag clearly refers to you touching LeBron out of admiration for his thigh muscles. Got it.

By the way, before we go any further, Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue appears to know what’s up:

In the event Embiid wanted to use Thursday night as an hours-long audition for LeBron’s affections, he and the Sixers did well—for the most part. The win was nice. Great, even. So, too, was Embiid’s 17-point, 14-rebound, six-assist masterpiece. The Sixers, as’s Zach Lowe noted, are going to be a problem come playoff time:

And yet, things could have gone a little better, specifically at the end of the game. Dario Saric put down a soft dunk inside 30 seconds to play when the Sixers already had the victory in hand, a move that rubbed Jordan Clarkson, LeBron James and the rest of the Cavaliers the wrong way. Clarkson was even ejected for tossing the ball at Saric’s back.

Make no mistake, this is pettiness at its most stupid on the Cavaliers’ behalf. Play some damn defense if you don’t want a team scoring down the stretch of a decisive victory. Like, seriously. Get over yourselves.

At the same time, however, you could tell Embiid clearly wasn’t thrilled with Saric himself:

To Embiid’s credit, he played both sides of the fence really well. He quickly alerted Saric to his “mistake,” thus ensuring he himself didn’t squander any goodwill with James. But he also immediately leapt to Saric’s defense when Clarkson went full temper tantrum, illustrating his fierce loyalty to his teammate right in front of someone he hopes will be his teammate next season.

Overall, then, Embiid did good. LeBron should remember this night, and everything about Embiid’s performance from on-court efforts to A-plus Instagramming, when he enters free agency this summer.

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