There are a multitude of adjectives somebody could pick to describe Joel Embiid’s 2020-2021 NBA season. Dominant, history-making, and jaw-dropping would all suffice.
An old video of the Philadelphia 76ers‘ big man playing basketball as a teenager has made the rounds on the internet this week though, and some words to describe what was caught on camera would be confusing, embarrassing and hilarious.
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“LMAO!! First year playing ball 10 years ago,” Embiid tweeted. “No wonder they had me playing on the JV squad. KG said it ‘Anything is possible‘ ha.”
Both Sixers reporter Lauren Rosen and Utah Jazz superstar Donovan Mitchell chimed in on Twitter to poke fun at Embiid’s Shaqtin’ a Fool-worthy moment.
While it’s easy to laugh about now, if something like this ever happened with Embiid on the Sixers, head coach Doc Rivers would probably have a fit.
Hard to Believe Embiid Didn’t Start With Basketball Until Age 15
Before becoming a millionaire and one of the best players in the NBA for the Sixers, and even before suiting up for the Kansas Jayhawks in college for the 2013-2014 season, Embiid had one of the more well-known, but amazing journeys. Growing up in Cameroon, Embiid was more focused on playing soccer and volleyball, and famously didn’t turn to basketball until he was 15.
When he began learning the game that was invented by James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts – who ironically also founded the Jayhawks basketball program – Embiid modeled his style of play after Hall-of-Famer, and fellow African basketball legend, Hakeem Olajuwon. No. 21 was discovered at a basketball camp by former Sixers forward Luc Mbah Moute and at age 16, with Mbah Moute – then a member of the Milwaukee Bucks – as his mentor, moved to the United States.
It’s unclear in the video whether Embiid’s blooper came during his playing days at Monteverde Academy or The Rock School, both of which the superstar played at in high school.
Embiid Has Transformed Into One of NBA’s Best Players and Isn’t Done Yet
After nearly winning the MVP award last season, despite missing 21 games, it’s clear that Embiid is one of the best and most well-rounded players in the Association. His handles and passing are just unfair for a guy who is also a 7-footer and is listed at 280 pounds.
In a clear sign of respect and recognition of his incredible MVP-runner-up finish, Embiid was recently given a 95 overall rating in the soon-to-be-released NBA2K22. The center is in a three-way tie for second-place as the highest-rated player in the game, matching up with Kawhi Leonard and Nikola Jokić.
Stephen Curry and LeBron James of the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers, as well as the Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant and Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo are in a four-way tie for the top spot with 96s.
NBA2K22 is set to be released on September 10.