On the first day of training camp, 76ers center Joel Embiid reiterated what he said on a podcast: he is backing off on trash talking.
The only thing that would have been more surprising is if Embiid said he was no longer going to dunk.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe had Embiid on his podcast Monday, during media day at the Sixers’ Camden practice facility, and the subject of the two-time All-Star’s trash talking came up.
“I am not talking trash ever again, allegedly, maybe,” Embiid said.
“I am done with that," he told Lowe. “I just want to play basketball, but we can see if I can hold up.”
Even Embiid knows that holding up will be difficult, if not impossible.
When asked about this during the first day of training camp on Tuesday, Embiid was firm in his convictions -- for about two sentences.
“I just want to play basketball. I don’t know, I just want to play basketball,” he said. “I know that is what I say now.”
Then, Embiid let on how much he enjoys talking trash.
“Trash talking is fun,” Embiid said. “A lot of people see it as, like, a bad thing, but it is just fun. Especially for me, I kind of need that extra motivation sometimes before a game, playing against a guy that people might say he is better than me. It doesn’t matter who, as a big man or anybody who is a guard, if they say they are better than me I just feel like I have to show people I am better than them too.”
The more he talked about trash talking, the more Embiid seemed to realize how much he would miss it if he were to stop.
“I don’t know,” he said about whether he could go cold turkey. “We will see how the season goes.”