There’s no question who the social media king of the NBA is. Philly’s Joel Embiid has been dominating players on the court and in your feed for years now with his hilarious and ridiculous posts. Take a trip down memory lane with me as we remember the good times, and some tough ones, through Embiid’s digital scrapbook.
The Kansas Era
It should be no surprise that Joel established himself as the GOAT with his very first post. A poster of Philadelphia Enemy Marcus Smart in 2014 in a Kansas/Oklahoma State matchup is as on-brand as it gets. For the record, Embiid had 13/11/1 with 8 blocks. Kansas won by 2.
“The Lion Story” is a classic example of what Joel Embiid is like. At Kansas, he told teammates that he killed a lion, because Americans think growing up in Africa is like The Jungle Book. Now, Embiid stretches that story a little further, suggesting he was a small child. (People still believe this story.) Before that though, he makes sure we know he’s pooping.
Before the Draft
Now is when things start to get scary. After seeing Embiid holding Boston and LA hats, it’s impossible not to feel thankful. Imagine Embiid in green, taunting the Philly crowd. Thankfully, he’s ours for good.
Unfortunately, not every post is positive. Embiid suffered a stress fracture in his navicular bone, costing him his #1 pick position. He captioned a separate post: “Disappointment is inevitable… Discouragement is a choice.” He kept his sense of humor through his surgery, but looking at these pictures is a stark reminder of the uncertainty Joel faced.
What is there left to say? Embiid is a Sixer, hopefully, from Draft Day to retirement.
The Injury Era
Before Embiid was dating models, he was the Thirst King. The Rihanna Era is an iconic time in Process history. Maybe “Come back when you’re an All-Star” is what sparked Embiid’s drive to achieve that and more. Probably not. But maybe.
It’s great to see how much Embiid has matured, but it’s also great that he didn’t start that way. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have posts like this. All hail The Ladies’ Man.
Some players get a “social media” reputation because of their captions, or Snapchat stories. Not Embiid. After he kills you in the comments, he’ll hit you with the MS Paint Photoshop. Frankly, I’m not sure how Rihanna curved this.
Embiid has shared at length now how he’s almost walked away from basketball, but he’s never been private about those feelings. The last hashtag he uses is #BasketballWasMyWorstNightmareBecauseISucked. It’s surprising that even before he proved himself in the league, he wasn’t afraid to voice how difficult it was to believe in his own potential. Also, the drip is insane. #NormalCollars
Like life, Embiid’s Instagram has its low points. Embiid shared a picture of his brother Arthur, who tragically passed away while Embiid was in the USA. He’s spoken about how difficult this time was for him and opened a foundation in his brother’s name. You can volunteer or donate here.
The Golden Age
View this post on Instagram
MOOD!!!! Is the guy in the red taking a pic? The woman has accepted her fate…. And my guy with the glasses tries to make sure I don't get hurt… SERIOUSLY I can't believe he's trying to TAKE A PIC ha but let's be serious I'm glad EVERYBODY was OKAY.. #TheProcess #Surfboard
Once Embiid starting playing, he endeared himself to us so, so quickly, flying around the court and diving out of bounds for loose balls like he was Allen Iverson. Some of these made for the best posts, especially like this one, when he decided to go for multi-part captions. We love you Joel.
What better post to close on than The TJ Shot? This picture is the iconic image of the Process. Philly’s emotional leaders locked in after getting the job done. It’s beautiful, from the passion in Embiid’s eyes to the…terror in TJ’s eyes.
I hope you enjoyed this journey as much as I did. For on-the-court Embiid content, make sure to read this awesome piece on Embiid’s production from our own Austin Krell. Before you go, here’s a quick Lightning Round: