At this point, nearly every athlete out there has some sort of profile on social media that they — rather than a PR person or a friend — control and tweet. While some big-name stars still use people to tweet things out for them, more and more players have fully accepted the potential consequences that come with social media and embraced the apps, as they’re great ways to talk to fans, do giveaways, and even chime in on events they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to.
However, not every athlete has mastered the do’s and don’ts of social media. Since being drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in 2014, center Joel Embiid has become a fan favorite with a social media presence that, as Yahoo Sports said in 2014, has turned him into a “character.” Despite not playing a single regular season game in his two years, fans love Embiid because of his tweets about PlayStation 4, celebrities, and how other athletes have played the same amount of games in the NBA as him.
An athlete using self-deprecating humor is rare, but Embiid explained in 2014 that he has a reason for why he tweets the way he does.
“I tweet like everybody else. Everywhere I go people talk to me about it and it doesn’t bother me. I don’t think I will say anything bad or do anything wrong, and when I’m back playing basketball that’s something that I won’t do. When I start with my rehab, that’s something I won’t do. I just do it now because I have nothing else to do.”
That’s fair, but now that Embiid is healthy and ready to finally produce on a 76ers team lacking Ben Simmons for the near future, it may be time for Embiid to start maturing and focusing on the game. By not playing yet with the Sixers, Embiid has essentially become a bust — there’s still plenty of time to change that, however — and it’d make sense that he stops focusing so much on trying to cause laughs on social media, right?
Well, a comment he left on Chandler Parsons’ Instagram page seems to prove the opposite; and there goes the hope of Embiid maturing in the near future.
Some people are going to hate this comparison, but would you see Tim Duncan or Kevin Garnett taking to social media to say “gonna cook your a**” instead of just proving it on the court? Embiid loves having fun and that’s great, but is it really a good look when you’re talking like that on Instagram after two years of sitting on the bench in a suit? This is the same player who seems to take pride in the fact he’s yet to play in the NBA in two years despite being a top three pick and laughs about how tennis players or actors have played in the same amount of NBA games as him.
Look, I like Joel Embiid, and I honestly hope he can stay healthy this year, but he really needs to realize at some point soon that until he gets on the court and contributes, he’s a bust among busts. The talent is all there, so can Joel Embiid please stop joking around and focus on getting minutes. If Embiid stays healthy and manages to finally become the player the 76ers thought he’d be when they took him third overall in 2014, he can do whatever he wants when it comes to self-deprecation and trying to play people on PS4, but for now? Man up, stay healthy, and contribute.
Embiid wasn’t the only big-name NBA player to cause a stir on social media on Monday night, as Portland Trail Blazers forward Evan Turner got into a spat with another user on Instagram. Curiously, this took place not on Turner’s page, but in the comments section of former teammate and current New York Knicks shooting guard Courtney Lee’s page.
Evan Turner having a grand old time in Courtney Lee's Instagram comments pic.twitter.com/DMHgziG85c
— Seth Rosenthal (@seth_rosenthal) October 11, 2016
The reason why Turner was even in Lee’s comments, for those curious, was that the former Ohio State star joked about his former teammate’s looks in an early comment.
Apparently thinking that Turner, who signed with the Trail Blazers for four years and $70 million this offseason, wouldn’t dare respond, one troll began to harass the former Big Ten Tournament MVP in a chain of comments.
Did the troll have those insults coming after what he said to Turner? Sure, but did Turner need to call the troll a “registered sex offender” and claim that used a membership to a porn website? Trolls are always going to be around, yet I can’t see why Turner, who’s entering his seventh season in the NBA and has been on social media for years, would need to stoop so low when a simple cash sign emoji would do better in humiliating the troll.
What is the joke behind calling someone a sex offender? Is the joke that all sex offenders are losers who bother people on social media? Is it something about their lives being a waste of time? I don’t know, fans don’t know, and I doubt Evan Turner knows so why use the joke? That’s the first impression you want to give your new fans in Portland?
Social media: Where NBA players continue to confuse their fans.
[Featured Image by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images]