Call it the tweet that launched a thousand ships. Minutes after the Boston Celtics completed a trade for Jrue Holiday — a player heavily linked to the Sixers in trade rumors — Joel Embiid fired off a message: “This off-season was fun lmao.” Remember, the Holiday move came only a few days after the Milwaukee Bucks orchestrated a blockbuster trade for Damian Lillard.
Reading between the lines, it sure looked like Embiid was complaining about the Sixers being complacent.
The Sixers’ biggest moves this offseason have arguably been bringing back Danny Green and signing Kelly Oubre Jr. They also matched an offer sheet for Paul Reed and signed Mo Bamba — two under-the-radar moves that normally would have been hugely applauded if not for the splashier actions of their Eastern Conference rivals. Embiid has a well-earned reputation for being a troll on social media, but he denied any meaning behind his note from October 1.
“I thought it was fun,” Embiid said. “Just saying the interactions around the league, with guys getting traded left and right, teams getting better and better, making it tougher for every other team, I thought it was fun just looking at the back and forth between fans. You know, you got Miami fans that are mad and Milwaukee fans that are happy, and now you got Boston fans that are happy so that’s what I saw and I thought it was just fun just seeing whatever was going on. On a personal level, getting married was cool, the honeymoon was fun, and spending time with my family was fun. For me, it was an A+ summer. We had a lot of fun.”
Embiid, not in a combative way, also took umbrage with a reporter who inferred that Boston and Milwaukee were better teams based on their offseason moves.
“Who said they surpassed us? We still gotta go out there and compete,” Embiid said. “You can do whatever you want off the court, but you still gotta go out there and put the ball in the hoop. I believe any team I’m on can win.”