Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid is well-known as one of the most promising young players in the NBA and also as being one of the most carefree and humorous.
One Embiid’s latest antics came after he was asked in a postgame interview following a Sixers game against the Clippers, when he was asked where his conditioning level was. Embiid responded by telling the reporter he was at “69 percent.”
ESPN analyst and former traffic cone for Kobe Bryant to get buckets against, Jalen Rose, called Embiid’s answer “unprofessional” due to its obvious innuendo that’s long been a running joke on social media. As expected, Embiid responded.
During an appearance on ESPN’s “SC6,” Embiid once again was asked about his conditioning, and he responded “81 percent, shoutout to Jalen Rose.” It was an obvious reference to when Bryant dropped a career-high 81 points on Rose and the Toronto Raptors, the second-highest single-game scoring total in NBA history:
Given that Embiid’s basketball fandom began with a love for Bryant and his scoring escapades, perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising he was ready with an “81” joke in his repertoire, as many Lakers fans are.
Rose is known for blocking said fans who tweet references to that 81-point game on Twitter (far better defense than he played on Bryant, it has to be noted) and it will be interesting to see if this starts a full-scale feud between the retired NBA analyst and one of the league’s most promising young players.
If it actually does, then Rose will have to hope he has more success with that than he did defending Bryant. Embiid’s “81” joke wasn’t damaging on the same level that Bryant’s scoring was, but if this feud continues on much longer, against all odds given that he’s been retired for years, Rose just might get lit up by one of the NBA’s brightest talents one more time.
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