Joel Embiid is the Troll of the Year

Plenty of sports stars had great years (Serena Williams won the Australian Open, gave birth to her first child AND had a fairy tale wedding), but no one had a better year on the internet than Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid.

Sure, Philly’s 2014 had already made a name for himself on the interwebs during the two years he sat on the bench injured, with his courtship of Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Cavaliers star LeBron James, Golden State’s Kevin Durant and more.

But, in 2017 his game, both on the court and off, took off.

After making his long-awaited NBA debut in October 2016, Embiid hit his stride as the new year began, averaging 23.4 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.6 blocks over nine games in the month of January, earning Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month and Player of the Week honors.

The self-proclaimed internet troll (nickname Troel Embiid) launched a grassroots and hilarious All-Star campaign, with support from former GM Sam Hinkie.

Even his February post announcing a meniscus injury that would sideline him for the rest of the season was funny.

The summer saw Embiid troll everyone from Lonzo Ball’s father to Process doubters to the drama with Kristaps Porzingis and the Knicks to Durant’s burner Twitter account.

Being able to cook opponents on the court has added a completely new dimension to his troll game, as evidenced by what we’ve seen thus far in the 2017-18 season.

Joel Embiid fires up the crowd. (Getty)
Joel Embiid fires up the crowd. (Getty)

When Heat center, and fellow elite social media personality, Hassan Whiteside had to be subbed out of a preseason contest when Embiid drew a couple of quick fouls, Embiid used the art of the location in his postgame Instagram.

Things escalated into a full-on Twitter battle, which Embiid sealed with a shot at Durant.

When he made mincemeat out of Clippers center Willie Reed, he echoed some of his in-game trolling.

Whose mans is this? #WhatsHisName

A post shared by Joel "The Process" Embiid (@joelembiid) on Nov 14, 2017 at 7:00pm PST

When he cooked the Lakers for 46 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists and 7 blocks (!!!), he celebrated with a not-so-subtle shoutout to LaVar Ball.

WHAT A NIGHT !!!!! #TheProcess

A post shared by Joel "The Process" Embiid (@joelembiid) on Nov 15, 2017 at 10:56pm PST

When he helped lead the Sixers to an overtime win over the Timberwolves, his clever caption got the attention of Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns.

Big mistake, KAT. Huge.

Even in a loss to the Warriors, Embiid delivered a hilarious, artful dig.

Embiid’s trolling is so fierce that it’s feared by the reigning NBA Finals MVP.

The thing that makes Embiid so successful, and keeps him from veering into unlikeability, is that he doesn’t take himself too seriously.

When he was injured, he wasn’t afraid to joke that he had the same amount of NBA points and minutes as the anonymous trolls tweeting at him.

And take this exchange, where he baited Utah rookie Donovan Mitchell into a technical.

Embiid acknowledged after the game that he flopped and laughed about it.

As we head into 2018, the sky’s the limit for Embiid on the floor and on social media.