Joel Embiid has said this before; he knows that his smack-talking on the court and social media trolling off it that endears him to Sixers fans now would be things they will hate about him someday — that’s the arc of fame. People want to lift you up only to knock you down.
Sunday night, Embiid heard a few boos from fans frustrated with Philly’s play of late — he’s the team leader, he gets some blame for that. After Embiid hit a key three late in the Sixers win over the Bulls, he “shushed” his own crowd. After the game, he gave a rather lame reasoning for it, saying he was, “Just getting back to myself, just being a good a**h***.”
JOEL HANS EMBIID pic.twitter.com/WMtw6UnsTb
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) February 10, 2020
On Monday, Embiid took to Instagram to do a little more trolling, using a photo of the “shush” move with the quote: “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain” as the caption.
However, it was Jimmy Butler‘s comment that turned heads.
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) February 11, 2020
Some media saw this as cryptic because we all love a good “they planned to start playing together way back on the Olympic team four years ago” conspiracy.
Or Embiid was trolling everyone, as he does, and Butler loves to stir the pot, so he jumped in with a comment. Because that is who they are.
For the record, there is zero chance the Sixers trade Embiid — or Ben Simmons — this summer. While it’s fair to question how well their games mesh and if the Sixers can win big with them as a pairing, we all know the arc of how teams handle this: Next, they fire the coach (sorry Brett Brown) because he is far more replaceable than an elite player. Philly is years away from moving one of its stars, if they ever do.
Embiid, for his part, used social media to say he is up for all of this.
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) February 11, 2020