The Best Thing That Happened This Week: The Late-Night Run of Joel Embiid

With apologies — really — to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.*

Photo illustration by Joe Trinacria

Listen, my children, and you’ll take heed
Of the late-night run of Joel Embiid.
’Twas the second October in ’17—
Hardly a fan alive had seen
The Cameroonian giant in act or deed.

Yet he said to his coach, “When the Celtics play
On the hardwood court this Friday night,
Regardless of what team physicians say,
I hope I can lace my Adidas tight,
One on my left and one on my right,
And I will be ready to start the fight,
First with my hook shot, then with my jump,
Then diabolical fake of pump,
Followed up with a little sumpin’ sump.

But for now, I’ll head out for a late-night run
For the hell of it, since it might be fun.
I’ll start out near 23rd and Pine—
Sure, it’s dark, but the weather is warm and fine.
Let me just put my hair in a cool man-bun.”
Then he said, “Let’s go!” and he headed out,
Heedless of foot and of knee of doubt,
Pounding the pavement like any minion,
Dodging the cars with their rack-and-pinion.

Boldly he ran through the square of Fitler,
Brave as the allied troops facing Hitler,
Until a driver inside a Lyft
Saw him—an unexpected gift,
A vision, the ghostly seven-foot Sixer—
And called to him: “Trust the process, dude!”
To which Mr. Embiid, in a Rocky mood,
Raised both fists in the air in a victory gesture,
Leaving no doubt that he is the best, yeah.

*Tee-hee. Longfellow!