Dating in the dark commercial
Then there's the fact that he barely spoke English less than a decade ago and is now the NBA's deadliest trash-talker, its most riotous follow, and maybe the Internet's last good troll.
English is one of three languages he speaks, and when he talks the words come low and slow, blending together as if maybe they got tired traveling all the way up his torso.
Embiid used to drink one (a single Shirley Temple, not a pitcher’s worth) almost every day but has since cut back to merely "once in a while," he tells me while grabbing a bottled water from the fridge, as if to prove his point.
(Bill Self, Embiid's coach at Kansas, tells me that Embiid was the "least mature eater" he's ever seen: "This dude would come to the house and go right to the plate of brownies and take the plate home, and that would be all that he would eat.") Of course, the diet is only one piece in a much larger puzzle, one that has proved to be the hinge on which Embiid's career swings from dormant to dominant: his body.
For Joel Embiid was still in Cameroon then, just 6 years old. He'd been sent away from his village, part of a tribal initiation. The young Embiid took his spear and shoved it through the lion's mouth.
Then he returned to his village triumphant, the lion draped over his shoulders.
Joel Embiid is the NBA’s most modern avatar: He’s a seven-foot superstar with unexplainable agility, a lovable social-media troll, and the namesake savior in the Philadelphia 76ers’ daring “Trust the Process” rebuild.