Joel Embiid‘s first reaction to tweets linked to then-76ers president Bryan Colangelo – tweets that bashed Embiid for concealing an injury from the team, dancing at a Meek Mill concert while hurt, “playing like a toddler having tantrums,” being too egotistical, being lazy, being selfish, being “distracted by models and social media” and being a “big selfish baby” – was to crack jokes.
Now that Colangelo’s wife, Barbara Bottini, admitted to running the Twitter accounts, Embiid provided a more thoughtful response.
Embiid on ESPN:
It was hurtful because of the stuff that was said in those tweets. But at the end of the day, I know who I am as a person, as a player. And I know a lot of people, they’re always telling me I’m great but I have a lot of stuff to work on. And actually, I appreciated everything that was said about me because if it was true – even if it wasn’t – that stays in my mind. And it makes me want to get better. The stuff where they were saying I wasn’t happy, that makes me want to work harder on my body. Or if they’re saying that I couldn’t do anything, it makes me want to work harder and get better. So, actually, I love it. I appreciated it. It was great. It was great for my game.
Good for Embiid for using the harsh words to his benefit. I would have been far more resentful.
There were questions about Embiid’s work ethic earlier in his career. But he seems to be putting those to rest.