Dario Saric and Joel Embiid sure seem to be enjoying their first experience at NBA All-Star weekend down in New Orleans.
Saric is scheduled to participate in the Rising Star Challenge this evening while Embiid will be sidelined due to his various injuries. But they have both done their share of media rounds and seem to be enjoying themselves.
"I like reading what people write about me especially when they write bad stuff about me or about my game. When they say that I can't do this, I want to go out on the court the next game and do it. I want to be a complete player. I want to end up being a point guard later in my career."
As for his off-the-court exploits?
"I'm a fun guy and I want to have fun," Embiid said.
Embiid also talked to Rick Fox and was asked about his fun weekend plans.
"I kind of got in trouble for taking my shirt off at the Meek Mill concert, so we'll see," Embiid said.
Embiid also sat down with NBA legend Kevin Garnett and talked about whether he felt he got snubbed for the All-Star game.
"I think I was snubbed," Embiid said. "I think I got a lot of years in this League so I think I'm going to have a chance to make it."
As for Dario? A fun fact about him that we learned is that he likes to order his drinks at Starbucks under the name "Marcus."
Embiid also has some fun with Dario and interupts him mid-interview to ask him if he can speak English. Oh, guys.
It looks at how the NBA attempts to weed out what could be considered "fraudulent" voting activity -- bots for instance -- but also takes an interesting look at where different players' votes were distributed.
ESPN employed the help of "social media intelligence firm Graphika, which monitors, categorizes and maps social media traffic for public and private clients" to sift through "more than 5 million tweets."
Turns out, Justin Bieber's influence has purpose. He almost single-handedly helped Chris Paul get a nod.
Some players like Kevin Durant relied heavily on their team's fanbase. Joel Embiid's social media savvy, on the other hand, is so darn on point that he got votes from all corners of the Internet, not just from Sixers fans.
ESPN's praise of JoJo is great:
PHILADELPHIA 76ERS CENTER and social media darling Joel Embiid is inventing new and better ways to connect with fans. Graphika found that Embiid's aggressive and colorful Twitter campaign to drum up support for his All-Star candidacy created a robust group of digital followers that is unlike other NBA stars. For instance, Kevin Durant's online votes came largely from Warriors fans, but Embiid received love from 76ers fans, Eagles fans and Jayhawks fans as well as social activists and many others. A full 84 percent of the accounts supporting Embiid were from communities outside of the local Philly sports scene, including national pro and college sports fans as well as music and entertainment fans.
"This is who you want to be," Kelly said after examining Embiid's results. "This is the picture of success."
We've anecdotally known JoJo's social media presence has been great for a long time. It's fascinating to read about the data that goes along with it.
Here are just a sampling of the Tweets that helped reach a bigger audience.