April 19, 2018
Joel Embiid made his triumphant return to the court in Miami Thursday night by spiking the hell out of the opening tip in game three against the Heat.
.@JoelEmbiid is BACK 😂 #NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/NGrtzLkRH1— Whistle Sports (@WhistleSports) April 19, 2018
The Sixers' All-Star center, still recovering from a fractured orbital bone, got clearance to play just before game time and came out with the ferocity Philadelphia fans have come to love in him.
But the real question was whether or not Embiid would be permitted by the NBA to wear any variation of the evolving mask he flashed throughout the past week, as seen below.
Joel Embiid spoke to the media today in a mask. I asked him if thinks he could play in game 1 if the playoffs. He said that’s “unlikely, but there’s still a chance.” pic.twitter.com/N4nNcUGbXA— Jessica Camerato (@JCameratoNBCS) April 11, 2018
The answer, in a word, was no. Real progressive, NBA.
This is what Embiid was sporting instead on Thursday night.
A close look at the mask Joel Embiid is using for tonight's game. pic.twitter.com/xzOPoTgRLX— Sporting News NBA (@sn_nba) April 19, 2018
Joel Embiid to Start 76ers vs. Heat Game 3 Despite Facial Injury; Will Wear Mask https://t.co/BrdegfmAlY pic.twitter.com/1Iq2M8WKgr— Info Basket (@InfoInfoBasket) April 20, 2018
Obviously, there were plenty of alternative suggestions along the way, but here are some of the best fan reactions to Embiid's protective mask — which, uh, broke at one point. And then the very unlikable Justise Winslow (who seems to loathe Ben Simmons) stomped on it.
Joel Embiid out here wearing a freaking gas mask. The Heat never stood a chance. #HereTheyCome pic.twitter.com/7b8UjFZxwR— Smitty (@SmittyBarstool) April 19, 2018
Joel Embiid’s new mask is pretty cool. pic.twitter.com/apq03okDkm— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) April 19, 2018
Getting a big-time .@MFDOOM vibe from the .@JoelEmbiid mask. pic.twitter.com/z9VDF5ZWhV— Eric Laird (@EDLPhD) April 19, 2018
Here's the LeBron (not permitted) vs. Embiid (permitted) mask-up: pic.twitter.com/taqZOhXpjf— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) April 19, 2018
EXCLUSIVE — first look at @JoelEmbiid’s new mask. pic.twitter.com/cv4ZjTNwKh— Taco Trey Kerby (@treykerby) April 19, 2018
Picture of @JoelEmbiid tonight pic.twitter.com/CsnFalSvoh— RJ (@AuronJ90) April 19, 2018
embiid’s mask is crazy pic.twitter.com/UJ1ka1Jr4p— brad jones (@beardjones) April 19, 2018
#Embiid mask is broken! Dam! They don't make carbon fiber the way they used too! #PhilaUnite #sixers pic.twitter.com/lT2NTSBHEJ— Own Your Masters (@ThaArchitect) April 20, 2018
Joel Embiid: Winter Soldier pic.twitter.com/TZGVUwGWA1— Matt Mullin (@matt_mullin) April 19, 2018
Joel Embiid with his face mask pic.twitter.com/iUWralDMmt— JC (@BarcaJuan24) April 20, 2018
Mask on... | With @JoelEmbiid back in the line-up tonight, will #TheProcess get the @sixers back on track? | #TalkGame pic.twitter.com/azc9LecwsT— Champs Sports (@champssports) April 19, 2018
Joel Embiid's mask looks like he is wearing a View-Master. pic.twitter.com/KaKfxsbKP9— Don Draper (@McSteamie_) April 19, 2018
Embiid's mask & goggles like: pic.twitter.com/biAB28tEST— Hot Hot Hoops (@hothothoops) April 19, 2018
Embiid playing with a welders mask on pic.twitter.com/mAK6wIIK3P— Nolo (@_KingOfTheHill1) April 20, 2018
@JoelEmbiid mask for tonight's game pic.twitter.com/NWkiw3P8Jh— Nick Duggal (@NickDuggal) April 19, 2018
Embiid’s mask is kind of cool. Westbrook needs to go with a Voltron mask for game 3 for no reason other than it would look cool. pic.twitter.com/VlPbR8FGE2— Bennett Berry (@bennettberry) April 19, 2018
Joel Embiid's mask will never compare to Richard Hamilton's mask. pic.twitter.com/VMGW8LQ54a— Josh Warren (@Josh4229Warren) April 19, 2018
All this talk about Joel Embiid’s mask. There’s only ONE mask in my life. pic.twitter.com/uw78qCWH1v— Michael Katz (@MichaelLKatz) April 19, 2018
Embiid has a new mask. Somebody say megaman! pic.twitter.com/OwyXv6ga1M— Dante ellington (@suge_midnight) April 20, 2018
Joel Embiid putting his mask on for game 3 pic.twitter.com/NyzjSZBUnw— T'Haruni Shujaa of Wakanda (@SSP_AJBAYMON) April 20, 2018
Joel Embiid’s mask is everything. pic.twitter.com/I8Dq9ruoky— Amy Fadool Kane (@amyfadoolNBCS) April 19, 2018
Personally, I would have gone with this kind of mask, but yours is cool too, #Embiid🎭. #PhilaUnite #NBA pic.twitter.com/SVvfGxLybP— J. Gutiérrez (@andthefoul) April 19, 2018
If Embiid was really serious he'd bust out the mask from The Man In The iron Mask, imo https://t.co/a2oCQLt92j pic.twitter.com/3qMBH6borV— Morgan Moriarty (@Morgan_Moriarty) April 19, 2018
"Fuck it, mask off" - Joel Embiid (probably) pic.twitter.com/18suNsdMCz— Austin Guerin (@austinbedaboss) April 19, 2018
Great to have you back, Jo-Jo.