Sixers center Joel Embiid may have missed out on Defensive Player of the Year earlier this week, but `when it comes to taking down some of the hottest chicken wings on the planet, he's a champion.
Embiid appeared on First We Feast's hot wing interview webseries Hot Ones today, where celebrities are tasked with eating 10 progressively hotter "Wings of Death." Embiid triumphed, finishing all 10. As Embiid, a Cameroon native, told host Sean Evans on the show, he didn't think the win would be a problem because "being from Africa, there's a lot of spice out there, and that's how we eat."
And he wasn't lying. From the start of the interview, Embiid didn't even break a sweat up until Da Bomb Beyond Insanity, Hot Ones' third-hottest sauce with 135,600 Scoville Heat Units — about 54 times hotter than a jalapeño pepper. Even then, he soldiered on through to The Last Dab Reduxx, Hot Ones' hottest sauce at more than 2 million Scoville units, to clinch his victory. And all without a single sip of water or milk, making him the first NBA player to complete the Hot Ones challenge unassisted by a beverage, as Evans told him in the clip.
The hottest sauce in Embiid's opinion? Hellfire Hot Sauce's Fiery Fool, which clocks in at 547,000 Scoville units — just about where Philly native Kevin Hart maxed out on his appearance on Hot Ones back in 2016 with the 550,000-Scoville unit Blair's Mega Death Sauce.
Aside from downing dangerously hot wings, Embiid also took a few questions from Evans that ran the gamut from his love of Nutella to his thoughts on life in Philly. As Embiid said, Philly slang is starting to wear off on him after a few years in town. Evans, meanwhile, noted that Philly folks "really talk differently."
"What's the most common that I always hear? 'Young buhl,' or something like that," he said. "They don't say 'boy,' they say 'Look at that young buhl.' At times, I think I catch myself using it because I've been there for so long."
Philly fans, meanwhile, hold a more special place in Embiid's heart thanks to their support for him, which he discussed following a question about how "brutal" Philly sports fans can be.
"Philly fans, you've got to understand, they've always treated me well. They've always supported me, even after missing two years, which I really appreciate," Embiid said. "They will fight for you. Some guys get it, some guys don't. Process is everything. Process is life."
"I'm still in love with Nutella," Embiid said. "I don't eat it as much as I used to, but I used to literally eat out of the jar — use my finger and just freaking eat one jar every day. Now I'm responsible. But back in the day I used to be a savage."
Up to six Nutella sandwiches-savage, according to a 2013 Bleacher Report story. But as Embiid told Evans, he could probably down more than 15 Nutella sandwiches "if there was money on the line." Believable, considering he once tweeted that he ate 10 cheeseburgers and some Cameroonian food during a night out.
After beating Hot Ones wing lineup, Embiid earned a short plug to the show's audience, which he used to promote his recently announced cover for the upcoming video game, NBA Live 19. With any luck, he said on the show, that appearance ought to raise his player rating in the game a little bit from his score of 88 out of 100 at the time of filming.
"If I'm on the cover, you've got to believe I'm going to be at least a 95," he said. "If not, I'm going to work for it and get to 95."
"I think he takes us to another level, which is important because at the end of the day, I want to be a champion," he said. "I want to do it myself. I want to have a lot to do with winning a championship or brining a championship back to the city of Philadelphia."
Check out Embiid's Hot Ones appearance below: