Joel Embiid, Comedian


I was going to start this by saying Joel Embiid is the new Pryor, but that seems shallow and lazy and also wrong. He’s on something different entirely. Some sort of evolutionary Kaufman. Twitter is his vehicle and he uses it like it’s a luxury RV. He’s not speeding along. There aren’t a ton of tweets, but the quality of the ride, how comfortable you can get, this might be our first legitimately funny NBA star since Barkley was playing.

Shaq was not actually funny. Ditto for Dwight. Actually, let’s extend Dwight on out some. Dwight Howard is the least funny person in the National Basketball Association. Kawhi Leonard is funnier than Dwight is. It’s the lack of self awareness that will kill a man. Matt Bonner is as self-aware and hilarious as they come, but he’s not a star. Embiid has the potential to team up with Nerlens Noel and start a revolution. Only other guy in the league close to him is Steve Nash and that’s only if you consider those extended existential monologues he was giving in those Grantland shorts to be high comedy, which, you know, they were. He wrote treatments for the eps for crying out loud. Those scripts had more jokes per page than an episode of Arrested Development. More rambling than Rust from Steve in those. 

Embiid recruits LeBron James on Twitter. He tries to woo Kim Kardashian. He then announces that he’s switching his allegiance from Kardashian and moving on over to Rihanna. Now he’s trolling us about having family dinner with her and changing his Twitter avatar to feature her face — or, rather, like, some hair and an eye and some lips and part of a cheek. He’s started a #Johanna hashtag. This is a guy who likes to have a good time.

Bill Self gets flack for losing to lesser teams in the tournament, but we should, as a nation, dog on him for a much more serious crime: keeping America unaware of this flaming golden hawk of a personality that Embiid has. How do you keep a comedic mind like this down? His one year at Kansas is like if Steve Martin had spent a year on a soap opera. Or, you know, if 1960’s Dylan took a year and tried to learn how to play the trumpet. We’d be missing out on stuff, like we did with Embiid. Imagine Embiid dealing with Vitale or Bilas. This guy needs to be out there, with a mic in his face, getting asked questions. This guy needs a movie. We found our Space Jam 2 star. 

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