JOEL EMBIID

ALL SMILES

Though his initial reaction suggested otherwise, the 7-footer from Kansas was thrilled to go No. 3 to the 76ers in last Thursday's NBA draft. Embiid didn't fall far despite suffering a stress fracture in his right foot a week earlier.

DAN PATRICK:Did you play soccer growing up?

JOEL EMBIID: I played soccer my whole life.

DP:Were you a goalie?

JE: No, I was actually a defender and midfielder.

DP:How good were you?

JE: I was pretty good. I should have been on the [Cameroon] national team this year. [Laughs.]

DP:How exactly did you hurt your foot?

JE: I was working out, and at the end I just felt a little pain. I didn't know what was going on. I called my agent, and the next day we went to the hospital and did MRIs and X-rays.

DP:Was surgery scary?

JE: It was pretty scary. The doctor gave me two options. The first was not [having] surgery. The second was surgery. He told me the surgery was going to be better and it wasn't going to be a long-term problem.

DP:Where did you think you were going to be picked?

JE: I thought with the latest injury I was going to drop a lot. Maybe 15. Maybe second round.

DP:You did not.

JE: Yes, I did. You know how people talk on social media. I bought into that. I was also listening to my agents; they told me good things. I was kind of surprised [I went third].

DP:What went through your mind when Philadelphia picked you?

JE: They said on TV that I didn't look happy. It was because of the TV delay. When they showed me, Adam Silver was saying, "The 76ers have the third pick."

DP:So you were O.K. going there?

JE:[Laughs.] I was happy. People were just going crazy. I was excited.

DP:Which player do you look forward to playing against?

JE: I would say maybe DeAndre Jordan or Dwight Howard.

DP:You want to posterize those guys?

JE: Yup. [Laughs.]

DP:You're not afraid?

JE: No, no, no. I know I'm going to get better. Since I started working out again this summer, I've already gotten so much better.

DP:Would you rather be a star in soccer or basketball?

JE: I'd probably choose soccer.

DP:Would you rather be Cristiano Ronaldo or LeBron James?

JE: I would say Ronaldo. Soccer players are more famous than basketball players. They have everything. But you have to be a man to play basketball, and I don't think those soccer guys can [play basketball].

DP:So you don't flop?

JE: No. I've been watching the World Cup. They need to fine them every time they flop.

Guest Shots

Say What?

It doesn't bother U.S. Women's Open champ Michelle Wie that her parents pushed her hard at a young age. "I wouldn't give anything back," the 24-year-old told me. "Parents don't have a guidebook about how to handle kids. We certainly made mistakes along the way, but I think we all learned from them." ... Dennis Miller said he holds no grudges about being fired from Monday Night Football in 2001, after just his second season: "If I'm in L.A. and I want to do some comedy and I go to the Improv and John Madden's on stage, they better haul his [butt] off. That's the way the world works, baby." ... I asked ESPN analyst Seth Greenberg to compare No. 11 pick Doug McDermott with a nonwhite player. "That's a pretty good challenge," Greenberg said. "I love McDermott.... He's really a very good player.... I'm stalling.... There's got to be one...."

PHOTOMICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (PATRICK) PHOTOROBIN MARCHANT/GETTY IMAGES (EMBIID) PHOTOROBERT BECK/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (WIE) PHOTOFRAZER HARRISON/GETTY IMAGES (MILLER) PHOTOMARK ABBOTT/SOUTHCREEK GLOBAL (GREENBERG)
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)