Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid has emerged, in his brief career, as one of the most entertaining NBA players. In addition to his dominant play, Embiid often says and does funny things, whether it’s trash-talking opposing players, asking out Rihanna on social media, or showing up Bill Murray-style at locations around Philadelphia.
After Tuesday night’s 76ers victory over the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Embiid found himself on the receiving end of a comedy bit from Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Goldbergs actor Jeff Garlin.
As recorded and posted to Twitter by reporter Ben Golliver, Embiid was asking questions from reporters after the game when Garlin asked him, “hey Joel- Jeff Garlin, Pirates of the Caribbean magazine. Which is your favorite Pirates of the Caribbean movie?” Embiid looked confused, so Garlin asked the question again. “Which is your favorite Pirates of the Caribbean movie? The first? The second? The third? The ride?”
At that point, Embiid mumbled that he didn’t know, and Golliver’s camera turned to Garlin, who laughed and walked away. Then, a reporter asked Embiid about a moment in the game in which he was accidentally elbowed by teammate and Kendall Jenner boyfriend Ben Simmons.
It’s unclear how Garlin got access to the press area at the Staples Center, although he appeared last month on LA Kings Live, a show associated with the hockey team that plays at the same arena. And a 2001 Curb Your Enthusiasm episode established that Garlin’s character, Jeff Greene, had front-row season tickets for Lakers games at the Staples Center until he had them revoked after Larry David, sitting in Jeff’s seats, accidentally tripped and injured then-Lakers star Shaquille O’Neal.
Comedian Jeff Garlin from “Curb Your Enthusiam” crashes Joel Embiid’s scrum, identifies himself as a reporter for “Pirates of the Caribbean Magazine” and cracks up when the Sixers center has no idea what he’s talking about pic.twitter.com/wu3ywGYgO8— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) January 2, 2019
This is not the first time a Hollywood figure has interrupted an Embiid postgame interview during a visit to Los Angeles. In April of 2018, following a Philadelphia victory over the Lakers, comedian and Philly native Kevin Hart interrupted Embiid in order to chant the Sixer fan slogan “Trust the Process.” This was especially memorable because Embiid appears to be nearly 2 feet taller than Hart.
Per ESPN, the Sixers defeated the Clippers 119-113 on Tuesday night in the teams’ first game of 2019. The Clippers’ Avery Bradley and Philadelphia’s Jimmy Butler were both ejected from the game, following a fourth-quarter shoving match. Embiid scored 28 points and had 19 rebounds in his return after missing the team’s previous game due to injury.
Other Philadelphia athletes have been more enthusiastic about the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. In 2011, then-Phillies outfielder John Mayberry Jr. saw Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and was so taken with the mermaid from the film, played by Antoinette Nikprelaj, that he had his agents reach out to her representatives to invite her to attend a Phillies game and meet him, as Page Six reported at the time. As Nikprelaj was married at the time, and her reps apparently leaked the overture to the press, it doesn’t appear that they ever met.