Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Basketball notebook: Embiid soccer tweet draws ire

The Oklahoma State student section explodes behind Kansas center Joel Embiid following a bucket by the Cowboys late in the second half on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma State student section explodes behind Kansas center Joel Embiid following a bucket by the Cowboys late in the second half on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma.


Basketball notebook. ...

Former Kansas University center Joel Embiid stirred up United States soccer fans Sunday by tweeting congratulations to Portugal soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo for setting up the tying goal in Portugal’s draw with the United States on Sunday.

The draw prevented the U.S., for now at least, from advancing into the World Cup’s Round of 16.

“Ronaldo my boy #halamadrid,” was the Embiid tweet to cause the commotion.

Deadspin printed some of the tweets attacking Embiid.

One read: “Joel Embiid...if it wasn’t for the USA you’d still be living in a third world country, show some respect.”

Other tweets included ...

“Shut up.”


“Cameroon is the worst team in the World Cup.”

“Your country embarrassed itself bro.”

“Unfollowed, go heal your foot.”

“That’s some Donald Sterling (bleep) you just pulled.”

Much of the reaction, however, was in support of Embiid in the comments section of the Deadspin story, including, “There’s a line between trash talking and being really hateful. It just makes Americans look classless when they gang up to trash a kid cheering on his favorite player.”

Bucks to pass on Joel: Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry said Monday the Bucks will likely take either Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins in Thursday’s NBA draft, passing on the injured Embiid if he is available. Cleveland picks first, followed by Milwaukee and Philadelphia.

“I think it’s hard to take Embiid,” Lasry said Monday at a breakfast. His quotes were reported by ESPN and the Associated Press. “I think he’s a phenomenal individual, but with the injury and not knowing how severe or long it will take to recover, I think for us today we’re going to want somebody who’s going to help us on day one. A lot is going to be dependent on what Cleveland does. But I would tell you right now it’s probably either going to be ... one or the other,” he added.

ESPN sources say Embiid is still under consideration at No. 3, No. 4 (Orlando) and No. 5 (Utah). It is believed Boston will not pass up Embiid at 6 if he is available.

Ellis, Alexander at camp: KU junior Perry Ellis and freshman Cliff Alexander are attending the Nike Elite Youth Basketball (EYBL) Big Man Skills Academy this week in Union, N.J. It used to be referred to as the Amar’e Stoudemire camp. NBA players Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins as well as NBA coaches are on hand instructing 10 college and 20 high school big men.

Makers slated to visit: Thon Maker, a 7-foot, 200-pound junior center from Carlisle School in Martinsville, Virginia, who is ranked No. 3 in the Class of 2016 by, is scheduled to visit KU this week with his brother Matur, a 6-10 sophomore from Carlisle School, reports. They also reportedly will make upcoming trips to Missouri and Duke.

According to, Thon Maker has received offers from KU, MU, Kentucky, Louisville Memphis, Arizona, Georgetown, LSU, Ohio State and others.

He will decide in January whether to reclassify to the recruiting Class of 2015.

“There’s a lot that goes into that. You have to see what you have to go up against and you have less time for academics and getting your game ready,” Maker told

He switched from youth soccer to basketball in 2010 and enrolled in middle school in Louisiana in 2011. He’s played two years of high school ball at Carlisle School.

“I’ve gotten a lot stronger and I’ve narrowed down a few moves even if I don’t get to show them every game,” Maker told “I’m learning to control myself and pace myself and I’m getting to my spots on the floor and getting in position.”

Analyst Eric Bossi writes: “Because of his size, athleticism and ability to maneuver up and down the floor, Maker has long been one of the most intriguing and fan friendly players to watch. At times, he’s settled too easily for deep jumpers or tried to dribble too much, but now he is more about getting where he needs to be and making the game simpler rather than more difficult.”

Maker recently played at the Adidas Eurocamp in Italy and the NBA Top 100 camp in Virginia.

“Defensively, he was very good on the ball and exhibited great lateral speed for a player at 7 feet,” Maker’s mentor, Ed Smith, said of the Italy trip in an interview with “His areas of improvement are functional and core strength related and team defensive concepts related. Both of these areas we will address in the upcoming high school season as I seek to improve his high school coaching experience.”

Gordon lists KU: Eron Gordon, a 6-2 junior guard from Indianapolis Cathedral High, visited Duke on Monday and will visit Michigan on Friday, reports. Gordon, who is ranked No. 35 in the Class of 2016 by, also will visit KU, Kentucky, Indiana and Butler, his dad told He has already visited Purdue and Louisville.

Black update: Former KU center Tarik Black is expected to work out for the Indiana Pacers today. Reportedly at least 15 NBA teams are serious about Black and at least 10 NFL teams. It’s believed Black has a shot at being a late second round pick. At the worst, he’ll be joining an NBA summer league team as a free agent.

Fulford hired: Missouri coach Kim Anderson has announced the hiring of Huntington (Virginia) Prep coach Rob Fulford as an assistant on the Tigers’ staff. Fulford coached KU’s Andrew Wiggins at the prep school.


Reggie Flenory 4 years, 11 months ago

Dam keyboard cowards wont say non of that ish to his face and JOJO still gonna ball out on these lames!!!!

Rodney Crain 4 years, 11 months ago

lol What does "ball out on these lames" mean?

Jack Wilson 4 years, 11 months ago

Rodney .. that would be the kind of talk that doesn't get you a job. Hard to decipher. English was constructed in a manner that, if spoken correctly, is quite easy to understand.

Rodney Crain 4 years, 11 months ago

Poor Joel, he should know that soccer (football) fans are some of the worse in the world, especially when the World Cup in going on. From racism, kidnapping, rioting and murder it can get darn right inhuman the way (soccer) football fans react. Ronaldo, Messi, Mueller, Neymar and Pele are some of my favorite players. Heck I have Pele's signed Cosmo jersey hanging on my wall but I would never think after that beautiful but killer of a cross by Ronaldo that his congrats tweet would make him any friends of US Soccer fans. He had to know that he was going to get some grief about that tweet. The examples above are actually tame considering some of the things that go on with futbol fans.

Bryce Landon 4 years, 11 months ago

Soccer fans still have nothing on Missouri and Kansas State fans.

Rodney Crain 4 years, 11 months ago

Bryce MU, KSU fans are mild compared to soccer fans. Lets thank God for that.

Jack Jones 4 years, 11 months ago

Absolutely brilliant comment ~ go find another school to rant on, and don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Jonathan Allison 4 years, 11 months ago

Joel knew that he was stirring it up with his tweet. I don't think that the reaction surprised him any.

There's no reason to believe that just because he has been living in the US for the past 3 years or so that he has to abandon his rooting interests in international athletics. For all we know, if the NBA doesn't pan out for him he'll be playing pro-volleyball in France.

Jonathan Allison 4 years, 11 months ago

Good to hear that Perry and Cliff are working on their skills. I hope to hear some good feedback from the event.

Andy Tweedy 4 years, 11 months ago

I yelled for Mexico yesterday, and my favorite team is England...I'm surprised I haven't been deported!

Jonathan Allison 4 years, 11 months ago

your favour the English? I hope that you love sorrow and heartbreak, what a downer.

Clarence Haynes 4 years, 11 months ago

Re Embiid: People raise their ugly heads! Joel was commenting on the great play that Ronaldo made! Frankly, it was a clutch play and unfortunately, it was against the USMNT.

Matt Gauntt 4 years, 11 months ago

This would be a story if anyone cared about soccer. But........we don't.

Aaron Paisley 4 years, 11 months ago

Tell that to the 25 or so million people who watched the game Sunday.

Rodney Crain 4 years, 11 months ago

Matt you are in the minority actually, except for NFL games, the US-Portugal game was the most watched sporting event on ESPN ever. That means any MLB baseball, NBA, or any college game of any sport. Here in Chicago 20-25,000 fans are showing up in Grant Park to watch the US play. Which is also happening all across the USA in city parks. The USA doesn't care about soccer is not an accurate statement anymore.

Matt Gauntt 4 years, 11 months ago

Still don't care. Soccer is an unwatchable sport. Things I would rather do than watch soccer:

  • Sterilize the inside of an outhouse
  • Go on a date with Rosanne Barr
  • Swim down a pirranha infested section of the Amazon River carrying 50 lbs of raw bacon.
  • Wear a University of Missouri Sweatshirt and a KSU Wildcats hat while playing the University of Nebraska fight song on a kazzu in front of Allen Field House

Rodney Crain 4 years, 11 months ago

Ok so you have gone from "we" to just you? That is different, I get that. Enjoy those other activities you list.

Walter Bridges 4 years, 11 months ago

111.5 Million for '14 Super Bowl but surpassed ave. number of viewers for 2013 World Series...13 million per game

I prefer to watch our women's soccer team. The men's team just reinforced their reputation of choking.

Rodney Crain 4 years, 11 months ago

The women are one of the top teams in the world, I like to watch them too. Matt's point was that nobody cares about soccer in the US. That is just not true anymore. For the recent US Men's game with Portugal it drew twice the audience of a 2013 World Series game. Nothing touches the NFL in the US but Worldwide the World Cup is watched be more people. Billions.

Jay Beakum 4 years, 11 months ago

Oh, I hope the Chiefs are one of the 10 or more teams looking at Black.

Walter Bridges 4 years, 11 months ago

Black has stated he isn't interested in football.

Jay Beakum 4 years, 11 months ago

If he can make more money playing football, he will. There is a reason all those teams are looking at him, and it’s not because he would never play the game.

Chad Lee 4 years, 11 months ago

The Donald Sterling comment is frustrating, he may be closer to pulling a Mel Gibson¿ Just ignorance. attacking someone with uppity, bigoted wit. Im glad Jayhawk fans aren't in this category^^ or most aren't

Scott MacWilliams 4 years, 11 months ago

Hey folks, I was as crushed as any American watching that match, but you have to give Ronaldo credit for a true thing of beauty in that cross shot, Varela for heading it in. Beasley gave up the ball at the wrong time and place to set it up, but the US played a great game.

And Jojo is a soccer fan of the first order, which helped him be the basketball player he was for KU. How else do you think he had the stamina that most bigs don't have, able to run the floor like a frikin' gazelle. We were very lucky to watch him this year, and here's hoping that Jojo heals fully and has a long and fabulous NBA career.

Rodney Crain 4 years, 11 months ago

I think it rubbed US fans the wrong way due to the knowledge that we will not beat Germany. If Ghana wins, the tie breaker will probably go Ghana's way and we will be knocked out of the next round by Ghana for the third WC in a row. I don't think he was surprised by the back lash. I sure wasn't.

Aaron Paisley 4 years, 11 months ago

Unless Ghana routs Portugal or scores a bunch of goals, Ghana win likely means the tiebreaker goes down to the head to head, which should be the first tiebreaker to me, and the head to head goes to the US.

I know neither the US nor Germany are going to admit they're playing for a draw, but it really is in both teams best interest to take it easy, take the draw, move on and rest their top players for the knockout round next week like Costa Rica did today. Quite frankly, I think the runner up in the group has the easier path to the semifinals than the group winner does.

Jonathan Allison 4 years, 11 months ago

If Germany beats US by 2 and Ghana beats Portugal by 1, Ghana advances based on goal differential. Not that farfetched unfortunately. If only head to head were the first tiebreaker. That would certainly help the US this time.

Costa Rica had already advanced going into their match today. I'm sure that if US had beaten Portugal that we'd see much less of Dempsey, Bradley and some of the others. But it could take everything that we've got to earn a draw against Germany.

I only watched the last 25 minutes or so the Ghana v. Germany game, but at first the excitement of the thought of a Ghana win or a draw was cool, but quickly I realized that it would be better for Germany to defeat Ghana and eliminate them. Ghana got the draw and kept themselves alive. Now, it would not be a shock if US loses to Germany and Ghana defeats Portugal and Ghana manages to advance based on 1st or 2nd tiebreaker.

Aaron Paisley 4 years, 11 months ago

It's also not far fetched for the US and Germany to play for the draw, in which case, both the US and Germany advance no matter what happens in the Ghana-Portugal game.

Rodney Crain 4 years, 11 months ago

Except no one who played in Manas has won or drawn their next game. Germany has an extra day of rest too. I hope we draw, we will need Germany's help, which I don't think will happen.

Rodney Crain 4 years, 11 months ago

Aaron, first tie breaker is goal differential, second is goals for. As Jonathan points out, there are many likely ways the US does not advance. Germany is more rested (and have traveled 1/3rd as less - US team has traveled 9,000 miles to Germany's 3,300 miles), Germany will play for a result (they do not want to limp into the next round on GD), and playing against their old coach have something to play for. Ghana is likely to win against Portugal (Ghana owns Goals For against US). 3 goals is not a lot to make up in this World Cup with two games. This is setup for a heartbreaking exit for the US, and its their own fault. When Bradley loses the ball there are 7 defenders behind the ball, when Ronaldo makes the cross there are 3 US defenders to mark 1 player (5 behind the ball), all 3 were ball watching, not defending the oncoming striker. Heartbreaking to come from behind, being able to see yourself advancing, and to allow a goal like that with 30 seconds left. That it will be Ghana advancing is hard to stomach. If Portugal wins and the US loses, they have to make up 5 goals on the US, that is unlikely against Ghana. I predict Ghana and Germany advancing.

Jonathan Allison 4 years, 11 months ago

It was the first goal surrendered to Portugal that was bad. That was the most pathetic attempt at defense I've seen in awhile when the ball ended up on the unguarded foot of Nani about 10' in front of the goal.

The sad part of it all was how brilliant Tim Howard was all game with spectacular saves that should have never been shots on goal in the first place. He had no chance at stopping the two shots that Portugal scored on, the first one especially should credit an assist to the US back who whiffed on the clear.

Aaron Paisley 4 years, 11 months ago

The second goal never should've happened either. The US didn't play to the final whistle and that could ultimately cost them a trip to the knockout round. It was absolutely a beautiful cross by Ronaldo, but it never should've happened.

Rodney Crain 4 years, 11 months ago

True, although I did that once, when I was 7 lol!!!

Walter Bridges 4 years, 11 months ago

I looked at the first goal as an aberration...bad luck, bad kick plus several other conditions coming together at just the right (really wrong) moment. Sh** happens but the goal that tied the game was poor defense and the US men's team finding a new way of choking..

Jon, give the US an assist on the 1st goal. The 2nd was more about the US finding a new way to blow a game than it was about Portugal refusing to lose.

Rodney Crain 4 years, 11 months ago

Karma says that Ghana advances and The US Men have only themselves to blame. I agree that last goal was pathetic.

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