Who needs billboards when you’ve got Instagram?
Things weren’t exactly copacetic between the Philadelphia 76ers and Cleveland Cavaliers as the final buzzer neared on Thursday. (Nice going, Dario.) So shortly after the Sixers wrapped up an impressive 11-point win, Philly center Joel Embiid took it upon himself to extend an olive branch to the Cavs … and, y’know, to one Cav in particular:
“Trust The Process???” wrote Embiid in the caption of his Instagram post, a photo of him smiling and laughing next to Cavaliers superstar LeBron James. “Always a great time playing against one of the best to ever play the game #summer2018goals”
“Summer 2018 goals,” huh, JoJo? What, pray tell, could happen in the summer of 2018? Oh, that’s right: LeBron can opt out of his contract, hit unrestricted free agency and begin looking for a new employer. I wonder if Embiid’s got any ideas about which teams James should consider. Nah, probably not. Online recruitment doesn’t seem like his cup of tea, y’know?
As soon as his Instagram post — complete with the location of “Broad Street,” as in Philly, despite Thursday’s game being played in Cleveland — started to make waves, Embiid issued a quick follow-up:
It’s not what y’all think lol
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) March 2, 2018
Suuuuuuure it isn’t, Joel. Your secret’s safe with us. [tries to wink, but closes both eyes, so I’m actually just blinking at you with a weird smirk on my face]
As luck would have it, Embiid wasn’t the only one putting up a late-night Instagram post. LeBron was feeling social, too:
“I told y’all a while back that my young King was next in line!” James said, tagging fellow former No. 1 overall pick, jumbo point forward and Klutch Sports dude Ben Simmons. “Getting better and better every night out! Tonight another example of that. Fun to watch and compete against you again and #TheProcess @joelembiid. Remember lil bro settle for nothing less than GREATNESS!!!”
Simmons and James shared pleasantries in actual spoken words after the game, too, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin:
“I know he’s a great, competitive player and I’m the same way,” Simmons said. “Playing against him, obviously one of the best to play the game, so it’s a great vibe out there.”
James was asked what matchup problems the 6-foot-10, 230-pound Simmons presents when he lines up at point guard.
“The same one I bring,” James said. “Power, speed, quickness, size, court awareness. Same one I bring.”
Might be time for some more billboards, Cleveland. Big ones. With flashing lights, lots of hearts and speakers that blare “Endless Love” every time LeBron comes within 100 yards. You just can’t be too careful these days.
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