Joel Embiid has been one of the most polarizing players since he entered the league in 2014. A large part of that is because he enjoys talking trash.
But on Monday, Embiid appeared on "The Lowe Post" podcast with ESPN's Zach Lowe and made a rather surprising statement. He admitted that he wants to have his play on the court do the trash talking.
"I'm not talking trash ever again. Allegedly. Maybe," Embiid said. "I'm done with all that. That's what I'm saying now, but we're going to see if I can hold up to it."
Embiid has been very active on social media over the years and gotten into his fair share of dust-ups with players around the league. There's an ongoing battle with Detroit Pistons big man Andre Drummond in which Embiid believes that he "owns space" in Drummond's head.
In addition, Embiid got involved in a scrum with Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart in a regular season game last March. Smart ran into Embiid and shoved the Sixers star to the floor following the contact.
Now, it appears that Embiid is trying to put this behavior behind him.
"The best way to talk trash is to dominate," Embiid added. "When you dominate them and you talk some more and go on social media after the game and talk some more, that's really hurtful. Sometimes I feel bad for them. That's why I had to stop."
Embiid also admitted in the interview that he took it hard when the Sixers fell to the Toronto Raptors in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Kawhi Leonard's game-winning shot at the buzzer. The star big man was clearly emotional and had to be consoled after the game.
If Embiid is truly maturing, that could be a huge development for Philadelphia. After all, the Sixers truly went for it this summer as they re-signed Tobias Harris and lured Al Horford away from the Celtics. Jimmy Butler was also shipped out of town in a sign-and-trade with the Miami Heat, which netted the franchise a very talented two-guard in Josh Richardson.
The sky is the limit for the Sixers during the 2019-20 season and Embiid looks ready to let his play do the talking.