NUGGETS

Joel Embiid gave predictably lame answer on facing Nikola Jokic

Jul 9, 2024, 11:15 AM

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid hasn’t faced Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic in Denver since 2019.

That was supposed to change this year, but Embiid infamously ducked Jokic at the last minute, stunning the NBA world. Nuggets fans let him have it, relentlessly mocking Embiid with chants throughout the game.

While Embiid seems to be comfortable playing Jokic in Philadelphia, he seemingly refuses to do it at Ball Arena.

But what about on a neutral court at the Paris Olympics later this month?

Embiid will suit up for Team U.S.A. while Jokic, of course, is the face of Team Serbia. The two squads will meet in the group play round, so we should get a battle of the last four NBA MVPs.

Jokic has won three of those (and deserved all four), while Embiid swiped the honors in 2023. It all worked out in the end, because Jokic led the Nuggets to their first NBA title.

But at media availability on Monday, Embiid was asked about facing Jokic in France. He could’ve chosen to take the high road and compliment Jokic, instead he gave a predictably lame answer.

Take a look for yourself.

“I don’t care about Jokic,” Embiid said.

The evidence would suggest Embiid does care about Jokic, when the games are in Philly, but that’s a different story for a different day.

Rather than just say it should be a great battle, Embiid decided to say he doesn’t care about the best player in the world. Or the guy he’s seemingly trying to convince everyone he’s better than.

“We all know what we gotta focus on,” Embiid continued. “But this is about trying to find ways to get better every single day.”

It was an easy opportunity for Embiid to talk about looking forward to taking on a fellow great big man. Instead, he set the tone for hopefully Jokic eating his lunch and having a huge day.

The two will meet in fewer than three weeks, provided Embiid is on the court.

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