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'Harden of the bigs': Embiid trolls opponents to bait them into fouling

Jamie Squire / Getty Images Sport / Getty

A magician may not reveal his secrets, but The Process does.

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid boasted about his ability to draw fouls, likening himself to the guard who's best known for getting the line, and shared his strategy.

"I don't even know why I'm gonna say this, but I'm gonna basically give out my secret," he told NBA TV after Saturday's win over the Detroit Pistons.

"One of the main things about me just talking trash to all those guys is, when I go on social media I know that they're gonna be mad. And the next time they're gonna be excited to play against me, so they're gonna be extra aggressive.

"I know that if you're being extra aggressive, you can call me the James Harden of the bigs. I know I can draw fouls. They're gonna be extra aggressive and I've gonna use that to my advantage because they're so excited to play against me."

Related: LeBron praises Embiid's game, defends his 'very funny' antics

The self-proclaimed best big man in the game, Embiid's ploy is working. Ahead of Sunday's contest, he told reporters he's not worried about Andre Drummond because his opponent "doesn't any play defense" and "can't shoot." That got the Pistons big man riled up and excited for the game more than a month in advance.

Drummond, who fired back by dissing his adversary's durability issues, ended up fouling out of the game after bumping Embiid at the elbow with 2:35 remaining. Ever the helpful host, the 23-year-old funnyman directed his fallen foe to the exits at Wells Fargo Center.

Related: Embiid predicted Drummond would foul out to his teammates

JoJo finished with 25 points, 10 rebounds, and a steal in the 108-103 victory, and went 11-of-12 from the charity stripe, getting the better of Drummond. The two hugged it out afterward and agreed "it's all fun."

Embiid has been having that fun all season long. His entertaining tactic has seen him earn 9.5 free-throw attempts per 36 minutes, which is actually slightly higher than Harden's rate (9.3) and second only to Dwight Howard. It's worth noting, though, the Sixers center commits 3.6 personal fouls per game - second-most in the NBA.

Coupled with his impressive play, Embiid's antics have earned him the admiration of fans, media, and even peers including LeBron James and Draymond Green. Altogether, he's one of the most exciting and promising young stars in the league and has led the 76ers to a 13-9 mark - fifth in the East.

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