Joel Embiid is good, braggadocios and active on social media.
He knows that rubs some people the wrong way.
Like Jusuf Nurkic, who spoke up after his Trail Blazers beat Embiid’s 76ers last night.
He tries to be more famous than a player. I respect him. He’s a good player. He’s not about tough. He’s a skill player, who is getting tired, it looks like. And when you play defense on him and play offense on him and attack him, he’s getting tired more.
Embiid’s best path to fame is playing well. These are not divergent goals.
And Embiid’s endurance has been the go-to target for his critics – justifiably. Embiid still must prove he can handle big minutes and stay healthy.
But Embiid has been plenty tough on the court. His generational skills overshadow his grit, but watch him defend. He’s tough.
Tough enough to handle these retorts coming in the form of elbows and forearms, not just post-game quotes? That’s the challenge Embiid will inevitably face.