The Cameroon-born star scored 33 points, secured 10 rebounds, and had five blocked shots in just 28 minutes of playing time.
It was a memorable performance, so much that ESPN’s Mark Jackson argued that it would be “a crime” if Embiid finished his NBA career without being in the discussion for one of the all-time great big men in the association’s history.
“It would be a crime if he left the game and wasn’t in the discussion as one of the best big men of all time.” - Mark Jackson pic.twitter.com/hTw1Z0eySl
— Andrew Perloff (@andrewperloff) May 3, 2019
“It would be a crime if he left the game and — barring any injury — not being compared to the best big men that’s ever played this game,” Jackson said late in the fourth quarter. “He’s got to be in that discussion.”
Fellow ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy seemed to take ire with his colleague’s remarks, and proceeded to tell Jackson to “Pump the brakes!”
Mark Jackson suggests Joel Embiid could be an all-time great, JVG loses his mind: pic.twitter.com/mv8zdhoWbZ
— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) May 3, 2019
“Hold on! Pump the brakes! Pump your brakes!” Van Gundy exclaimed, naming off a slew of Hall of Famers that included Bill Russell, Wit Chamberlain, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Jackson then retorted, “The evidence is right in front of us.”
Naturally, Twitter was divided on Jackson’s comments. Some thought the former Golden State Warriors coach’s declaration was a little farfetched.
Once again Mark Jackson goes sideways with putting Joel Embiid in the top 3 tier of bigs. The dude has missed over 200 Games. Come on Mark? Seriously. Glad Van Gundy stepped on the brakes. Lmao
— J.S.33 (@MannyNodar33) May 3, 2019
Mark Jackson made a wild hot take about Joel Embiid tonight. I agree with JVG, “pump the brakes.”
— Rich Conte (@RichWC_) May 3, 2019
Mark Jackson with one of the worst takes I’ve ever heard. Embiid isn’t in the same universe as the all time great centers. The guy hasn’t ever made it thru a full season healthy. Van Gundy got it right.
— Steve Bowen (@stevebowen12) May 3, 2019
Others, including Eagles DL Chris Long, encouraged viewers to understand the context of Jackson’s remarks.
Awkward as hell but I think Van Gundy misunderstood what Jackson was saying... that Joel has the TOOLS to be *that* special *barring Injury* and it’d be a shame if he didn’t fulfill that potential. Who disagrees that he has the ability?
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) May 3, 2019
What was so wrong with what Mark Jackson said? He didn’t say Joel Embiid is one of the best big men of all time. Simply saying that if he stays healthy his whole career he is clearly showing right that he has the skills to go down as one of the best. That’s the truth.
— Sam Toennies (@stoenn3) May 3, 2019
I agree with mark Jackson’s comments . Baring injury Joel Embiid can be the best big man to play the game
— 🦄Melo🦄 (@George_Yang9) May 3, 2019
Time will only reveal if Jackson was indeed correct. Embiid and company hold a 2-1 lead over the Raptors. Game 4 is scheduled to tip off Sunday at 3:30 p.m. from Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
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