Joel Embiid clarifies health status after channeling Mike Tyson during interview
Joel Embiid was forced to exit Tuesday night’s 100-93 win over the Toronto Raptors, and the Philadelphia 76ers star possibly created a brief panic by cracking a joke after the game with a riff on an infamous Mike Tyson quip.
Embiid left the court after getting tangled up with Pascal Siakam during the third quarter. Holding his right leg, the Sixers superstar limped to the locker room during a timeout.
Embiid ultimately made his return to the court and helped Philadelphia notch a comeback victory with a stat line of 29 points, 16 rebounds, two blocks and two steals.
However, any time it appears Embiid might have suffered an injury is obviously a major source of concern for the 76ers, especially given he sat out Sunday’s loss the Cleveland Cavaliers with back tightness.
To no surprise, Embiid was asked about his status during a postgame interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Amy Fadoo. That’s when one of the most enigmatic, entertaining and gregarious personalities in the NBA channeled Iron Mike.
Classic Joel pic.twitter.com/eL1vv6Hu9U— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) December 30, 2020
“I hurt my back,” Embiid quipped. “My back is broken.”
The line of course was inspired by the time Tyson told Jim Gray that he broke his back following a bout with Clifford Etienne in 2003.
Embiid knows they vibes pic.twitter.com/N489id9ArD— J.J. Gittes (@WillsStevenson) December 30, 2020
Embiid, perhaps recognizing his joking impression of Tyson either fell flat and/or sowed confusion, later clarified his status.
“Sorry, I was trying to make a Mike Tyson joke. No, I’m fine. Nothing to worry about,” Embiid said, per NBC Sports Philadelphia. “We fought through it, and credit to my teammates. They made some big plays. We all did it as a group.
“… I’m fine. Nothing to worry about. Obviously, it was a great win, so I’m happy about that one,” Embiid later added during the interview.
It goes without saying that the Sixers are breathing a huge sigh of relief after it became clear Embiid was not more seriously injured given his brief foray back to the locker room, especially with the team off to a 3-1 start.
Maybe next time Embiid should take a pass on impressions, especially when it involves him addressing his health.