Joel Embiid had a career-best performance against the Jazz on Sunday.
He finished the victory against the Jazz with an unbelievable 59 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists, and 7 blocks. The big man later shared a funny moment with Utah’s Lauri Markkanen, who has emerged as an early candidate to win the NBA’s Most Improved Player.
Markkanen earned a trip to the free-throw line, and if he nailed both of his attempts, the Jazz would have trailed the 76ers by just one possession. It was a crucial moment when Markkanen stepped to the charity stripe, so Embiid (who had a massive block against Markkanen earlier in the game) made sure to get into his head a little bit beforehand.
on top of everything Joel Embiid did in the box score tonight, here he is jawing in Lauri Markkanen’s ear before two clutch free throws at the end of the game. Lauri then missed both. pic.twitter.com/jPRLF9fObo
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) November 14, 2022
Embiid approached Markkanen, and it wasn’t long before curious lip-readers attempted to decipher what he said.
Whatever it was he said was potentially impactful considering Markkanen, who is shooting 84.9 percent on free throws during his career, missed both attempts.
Fortunately, however, Embiid offered clarification about the back-and-forth after the game. He told reporters that it was “a little trash talk” to “get in his head” during the clutch moments.
Embiid said that he told Markkanen that he better miss those free throws because he didn’t want to play an overtime period because he had parental responsibilities. He said he had to get home as soon as possible so he could get his son, Arthur, to sleep.
Joel Embiid said he told Lauri Markkanen he had to put his son Arthur to sleep when he shot those free throws late in the first quarter, so he wanted him to miss to avoid overtime.
Embiid admitted he lied – he said Arthur is in bed every night at 7:30pm sharp.
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) November 14, 2022
The big man did note, however, that he was lying — his partner, Anne, has a strict 7:30 p.m. bedtime for Arthur. But what Markkanen does not know does not hurt him.
If Embiid’s lie sounds familiar to you, it’s because if you’re following the league closely, you’ve actually heard this excuse very recently.
Ja tried getting into Tatum’s head last night… didn’t go so well pic.twitter.com/FRzLdQFLGs
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 8, 2022
Last week, Grizzlies star Ja Morant approached Jayson Tatum at the free-throw line and told him to miss the attempts. According to Morant, however, Tatum said he could not do that because he needed to put his son, Deuce, to sleep.
It didn’t take long for fans to notice the similarities between Embiid’s trash talk to Markkanen and Tatum’s witty response to Morant.
This was an excellent troll job from Embiid, who likely confused Markkanen while also potentially getting in a subtle jab at Tatum. It would be hilarious if this starts a wholesome trend around the league of players using bedtimes as trash talk.
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