It’s true that Sixers star big man Joel Embiid is known for popping off with his mouth and definitely has a sense of humor. So it should be no surprise that, when presented with an easy opportunity to get in a dig at Lakers forward Anthony Davis, Embiid took it.
Embiid appeared on the YouTube channel run by gamer ChuBoi, discussing his affection for the FIFA-themed soccer video game series. The host asked Embiid about a difficult mode in the game—FIFA Ultra Team, or FUT—and related it back to Davis.
ALL the latest Los Angeles Lakers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Lakers newsletter here!
“More difficult, playing FUT Champs or guarding AD?”
Embiid paused a moment and said, “Playing FUT Champs is more difficult.”
Ouch. Of course, when the video cropped up on Twitter, all of Lakerland seemingly rushed to Davis’ defense, pointing out Embiid’s long and checkered history with injuries and the Sixers’ many playoff failures.
In seven NBA seasons, Embiid has been to the postseason only three times and never reached the conference finals. The Sixers were swept in the first round of the playoffs last year, while the Lakers won a championship.
Embiid Having MVP-Caliber Season
Embiid has been outstanding this season for the Sixers, averaging a career-high 28.3 points to go with 11.1 rebounds. He is shooting 54.4% from the field and 40.4% from the 3-point line, while also tallying 1.2 steals and 1.3 blocked shots.
Davis has struggled with injuries this season and is averaging 22.2 points and 9.1 rebounds, shooting 51.5% and 33.3% from the 3-point line. He missed three games on separate occasions with injuries to his calf and quad, and said he is still getting into game shape after a short offseason. Avoiding a long-term injury has been part of his goal.
“We saw it with [the NFL] unfortunately, a lot of guys got hurt early on because they didn’t have a preseason and went straight into playing games,” Davis said. “We didn’t want to do that at all. Coach did a good job of making sure we ramped up the right way.”
Embiid, meanwhile, has earned rave reviews.
“He’s just more talented than even I knew,” coach Doc Rivers said about Embiid, per Sports Illustrated. “I knew he was extremely talented but he has so many more gifts. You know, off the dribble, he can make his spots. One of his weak points I guess was post passing and he’s been phenomenal in that this year.”
Anthony Davis vs. Joel Embiid Matchup Dominated by Embiid
Embiid and Davis squared off against each other this week, and Embiid finished with 28 points and six rebounds, shooting 8-for-18 from the field. Davis had 23 points and eight rebounds, shooting 9-for-18 and making only five of his 10 free throws. The Sixers won.
Despite the protestations of Lakers fans, Embiid did have a point about his matchups against Davis. Not only was he the victor in their most recent battle, but Embiid has played well against Davis in recent years.
In the 2018-19 season, Embiid posted 31 points and 19 rebounds against Davis, while Davis had 12 points and 16 rebounds. Davis was just 4-for-13 shooting in that game.
In 2017-18, Embiid had 24 points and 16 rebounds against Davis, shooting 11-for-18 from the field. Davis had just 14 points and eight rebounds, shooting 6-for-19.
In five career games against Embiid, Davis has shot 39-for-101, just 38.6 %, from the field.