Plenty of Sixers fans were disappointed when the team drafted Joel Embiid with the No. 3 pick in the NBA Draft earlier this year. Embiid, who appeared to leap Andrew Wiggins to become the consensus No. 1 pick, had foot surgery before the draft. While he’s a promising prospect, he is unlikely to play for a long while.
This is a man who, after the Sixers drafted him, looked like this:
(It turns out it was just a delay in the video feed — we were seeing Embiid as he was waiting to be drafted.)
While they'll have to wait to see him play, Sixers fans haven't had to wait to start enjoying his presence. It started when he began courting then-free agent LeBron James on Twitter.
@KingJames hey bro hope you're having a good day...... Want to join us in philly?? Peace
— Joel-Hans Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) July 1, 2014
He continued the bit.
— Joel-Hans Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) July 3, 2014
What's cool is Embiid is constantly switching up his Twitter gimmicks. James signed with the Cavaliers, and Embiid switched to courting Kim Kardashian and Rihanna. Later, he revealed himself to be a fan of The Bachelorette.
— Joel-Hans Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) July 29, 2014
What's amazing is Embiid is 20. He's only been in the U.S. for three years, and already he's a pro at knowing what Americans want to hear. He must be really smart. Luc Mbah a Moute, who discovered his basketball ability in Cameroon three years ago, must be a great mentor.
“They probably should have never showed Twitter to this African kid” BAD #PROUD
— Joel-Hans Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) August 1, 2014
It's not just Twitter. Speaking with Comcast SportsNet’s Dei Lynam, he shouted out how great Philadelphia is:
"I wasn't expecting the city to be like that," Embiid told CSN's Dei Lynam. "I was surprised and I loved it. I thought it was going to be something like Cleveland or Milwaukee but it was actually way better. I loved it."
Welcome to the Northeast United States, Joel. All of it's pretty fantastic, but you'll find Philadelphia is as vibrant as anywhere. There are even better places to eat than Pat's!
Either Embiid is actually this smart and funny all by himself or he's smart enough to have friends advising him on the easiest way to appeal to Philadelphians on Twitter. Either way, it's promising! Now, all we need is for Embiid to be as good on the court as he is on social media.
Follow @dhm on Twitter.