Skip to main content

Keep making fun of him. In 3/4 years ya'll gonna be asking him for a loan


Joel Embiid is one of many examples of African players who were late bloomers when it comes to basketball. The most famous story is Hakeem who started playing as a teenager and then became one of the best players of his era. Embiid's basketball beginnings are the same, and he has the potential to leave a mark as deep as Hakeem did.

Joel started with soccer and volleyball, his primary sport as a kid. He was 16 when Mbah a Moute had a basketball camp he attended - that was his first contact with organized basketball (or almost any basketball).

In a conversation with Steph Curry, Embiid explained how he was terrible at basketball when he started. Clumpsy with the ball, couldn't dribble, was very skinny so he would get pushed around on the court. Still, Joel was selected to go to Montverde Academy in Philadelphia.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

He felt overmatched and out of his place there. In Africa, he wasn't the only kid that had little contact with basketball. In Philly, it was a different story. The other kids would push him around and make fun of him, so Joel got in his fair share of fights (via "5 minutes from home" with Steph Curry):

I used to get into fights a lot, guys would push me all over the place & used to make fun of me because I couldn't catch the ball and couldn't speak English. ... Coach Boyle at Montverde Academy, this one time he kicked me out of practice, he stayed back and then he told everybody "Keep making fun of him. In 3/4 years ya'll gonna be asking him for a loan"

The way they treated him made him tougher and persistent in getting better and showing everyone he belongs with the elite. This sheds light on Embiid we see all around the league, enjoying when opposing fans boo him and often provoking more of it.

Coach Boyle was right and if any of the guys from the team call Embiid, they would probably get the Rihanna treatment.

Vanessa Bryant revealed how Kobe Bryant was like everyone else

Vanessa Bryant revealed how Kobe Bryant was a normal person like everyone else: "He wipes his own ass too"

Kobe Bryant was a superstar on the court but never acted like one outside of it. This is what endeared him to the fans

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving, forward Kevin Durant and guard James Harden

“This has to go down as one of the most epic failures in the history of this league” — Tim Legler shreds the Brooklyn Nets

Two other teams in the modern NBA came to mind as faliures given the talent they had on the roster.

Kevin Durant blasts Philly fans for their chants towards Ben Simmons

Should the Brooklyn Nets regret trading for Kevin Durant?

The Durant-Irving partnership in Brooklyn could arguably go down as the most disappointing one in NBA history.

Detroit Pistons legend Rick Mahorn and Indiana Pacers legend Reggie Miller

Reggie Miller on who he hated facing on the bad boy Pistons — “He ​​had a crazy look in his eye all the time”

There’s a reason why Miller's most feared Pistons player was dubbed as the “Baddest Bad Boy of them all.”

San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan and guard Manu Ginobili

"I lost a lot of sleep because of him" — Chauncey Billups reveals who deserved to win the 2005 NBA Finals MVP

Tim Duncan won the 2005 NBA Finals MVP. But Chauncey Billups, as well as some fans, believed the trophy belonged to someone else.

Michael Jordan

Beer drones — the best feature on Michael Jordan's exclusive golf course

Do you want to be a member of the exclusive The Grove XXIII club? Michael Jordan has to invite you first.


Miles Bridges' wife exposes him for domestic violence

The NBA community needs to to better. ”I won’t be silent to protect others anymore because I value myself and my kids more than anyones ‘image’”