Joel Embiid is destroying kids in Madden and NBA 2K, while also embarrassing grown men on the basketball court
Joel Embiid has no off-switch when it comes to his competitive mentality. Even with kids, Embiid is determined to win by any means necessary. This morning, the Athletic released a deep dive into Embiid, speaking with former 76ers assistant coach Billy Lange among a host of other people close to Embiid in the basketball world.
Lange and his family told a story from when he was with the team about how he invited Embiid over for dinner with his family, to which Joel showed up with a PlayStation in his backpack.
“He put it literally on the main TV in my house. He wanted everyone to watch how bad he beat them. When I say he pummeled my kids, there was no mercy. I think he won a Madden game, 98-6. At the time, my kids were 7, 9 and 10. Every time he’d get a turnover, he’d say something to me, right to my face. One time he left to go to the bathroom and I got a safety with his controller and he was mad.”
Lange’s kids weren’t the only ones getting served in Madden, as 76ers player development coach Chris Stumpter also talks in this article about facing Embiid in Madden. No surprise here, JoJo would routinely run the same play over and over again just to get the win over one of his own coaches.
Joel’s desire to put a beat down on anyone didn’t just sit with Madden, but actually got worse with 2K. Somehow after getting destroyed in Madden to an embarrassing degree Lange’s kids still wanted to play against Embiid in 2K, and got killed by an even bigger margin.
“Then he goes to play (NBA) 2K, which has all these angles and my kids have always played on the angle like you’re watching the game on television. But Joel plays from the baseline angle. He was beating them by like 200 points. He was unrelenting and he was talking smack. “Can’t guard me. You can’t get a stop.” All of it. Just giggling. Unbelievable. While my wife is cooking for him.”
If playing 2K from the broadcast angle doesn’t tell you how competitive Embiid can get in video games, I don’t know what will. A 200 point drubbing to me is just Embiid showing how with hard work these kids can get on JoJo’s level. Sometimes a bad loss is what can inspire someone, especially young kids right? Or it is just Joel’s desire to win at everything he does, a mentality that has him in MVP consideration for the second year in a row.
That mentality has also inspired a ton of absolutely hilarious clips from the offseason over the years of Embiid having no regard for human life in friendly pickup games. There are few more goated videos of NBA players on the blacktop destroying common folk like Embiid’s nasty windmill on these pour souls from a couple summers ago.
If you thought children were safe from Embiid’s competitive spirit on the court, you’d also be wrong. Back in 2016 Joel was doing some charity work around the greater Philadelphia area, and was playing one-on-one against a kid who couldn’t be happier to be playing with Embiid. I don’t know if it was the fact the kid was in full 76ers gear, or that he had already developed a decent crossover for such a youngin’ but Embiid made sure he didn’t score to say the least.
There are tons of stories of the length’s Embiid will go to win at anything he plays. From taunting current teammate Georges Niang at the free throw line when Niang narrowly lost to Kansas to pretending to not know how to play cards with JJ Redick to gain an edge, Joel would do anything to get a win.
This trait of Embiid’s is what has made him develop into one of the best player’s in the world. The desire to win. Joel’s journey in the NBA has been anything but easy, a ton of guys would’ve given up after dealing with the plethora of injuries JoJo went through so early on in his career. It was that competitive edge and having the right people around him to develop into the player he is today that has him on the cusp of being the league’s Most Valuable Player.
Mandatory Credit: HyperX