Joel Embiid is having an incredible run of fun and general career success over the last few weeks. He’s expanded his time on the floor, stayed healthy and hit a career-high in points in a win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Embiid appeared on SportsCenter’s SC6 on Wednesday and was asked about his conditioning. Previously, he had said he was at about 69 percent, which got laughs from a bunch of goofs online as well as Michael Smith on Wednesday.
Predictably, Embiid said he’s closer to 100 percent, picking 81 percent this time around.
“We were basically talking about my conditioning level but it’s getting there, it’s getting there,” Embiid said. “I think I’m about, uh, 81 percent.”
Cue the laughter once more.
“You’re are randomly picking numbers,” co-host Jemele Hill said.
But did you catch what Embiid said shortly before the clip ends and while the two hosts are laughing?
“Shout out Jalen Rose,” Embiid said, a wry smile on his face.
This is the record scratch part of the post. Why Jalen Rose? Well, Rose claimed that Embiid saying he’s at 69 percent was unprofessional, which Nathaniel Friedman made a note of on Twitter earlier this week.
Embiid, then, is joking about his conditioning once more, and this time the joke might be even better: 81 is the number of points Kobe Bryant scored while Rose was infamously failing to guard him. It’s such a delightful jab at Rose, who has never been able to quite live down being the primary defender in that 81-point performance.
The lesson, as always, is that when it comes to trash talking Joel Embiid remains undefeated.