Philadelphia 76ers: Joel Embiid is the NBA’s 7-foot-tall Deadpool

(Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images) /

Is Joel Embiid a hero or villain? Neither actually, the Philadelphia 76ers’ 7-foot-tall center isn’t Professor X or Magneto, but Deadpool.

Is Joel Embiid a hero or a villain?

I guess that depends on who you ask. To fans outside the City of Brotherly Love, the answer is pretty clear; Embiid is a troll, a showboat, an antagonist in the literal sense.

But for fans of the Philadelphia 76ers, things are a bit more complex.

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To some, Embiid is an overweight underachiever who will never put in the work to be truly great. He is everything wrong with a disastrous era of perpetual losing, poor decisions, and even poorer utilization of draft capital. And yet, to others, Embiid is the crown jewel of the Process, the yin to Ben Simmons‘ yang, and the best center to suit up for the Sixers since Wilt Chamberlain.

But what if I were to tell you as ESPN personalities feud over Embiid’s alignment like he’s a Dungeons and Dragons character – my money’s on chaotic good – there’s actually a comp that is much or accurate to Embiid’s mentality.

What if Embiid isn’t Professor X or Magneto, but instead Deadpool?

For those unaware, Deadpool is an X-men adjacent character introduced into the Marvel Universe in New Mutants #98, where he meddled away before eventually rising to mainstream prominence for his roles in Marvel Ultimate Alliance (1 and 2), X-men Origins: Wolverine, and eventually his own Ryan Reynolds-staring movie franchise.

Deadpool is cool, a goofball, and endorses sugary sweets, aka he’s exactly like Joel Embiid.

I mean think about it, Deadpool’s nickname is “The Merc with a Mouth”. Is there a better trash talker in all of sports, maybe on the internet in general than Embiid when he’s on his A game? Embiid has a big enough personality to fill an entire arena, and the charisma, charm, and rally-ability to draw together a passionate coalition of Philly fans and big man fanatics alike.

Embiid is also incredibly aware of how to use his clout, social and otherwise, to drive the external narrative in his own favor – the closest thing to breaking the fourth wall a human can come in our digital world.

Really, the only things that Deadpool and Embiid don’t have in common is the former’s mutant healing factor; a factor that would be an absolute godsend for the oft-injured big man who has suffered everything from a broken finger, to a broken face over the last season and a half.

Too bad Philadelphia hasn’t had a Weapon X since 2008, am I right?

Does Deadpool rub people the wrong way? In-universe, all the time, but through it all, he has maintained a steadily growing fanbase that has persisted through the high times and low. Is it safe to say his fans have Trusted the Process?

Next. Ben Simmons deserves All-Defense honors. dark

For better or worse Joel Embiid is who he is, and as a result, he will never have the broad appeal of a player like Michael Jordan, but for fans of fun, flair, and the Philadelphia 76ers, there isn’t a better, more entertaining player in the NBA. Are you not entertained?