A Philadelphia court ruled for Joel Embiid and Russell Westbrook to have no custody of Steven Adams after years of intense disputes between Embiid and Westbrook over the details of their divorce.
The two basketball players began the divorce process in 2017 when Joel Embiid famously waved goodbye to their son, Adams, when he was sent to his room for timeout. Upset with how Embiid treated his child “when he was already down,” Westbrook waved to Embiid a few minutes later as he was walking out the door after losing the argument.
It quickly became clear that nothing could save this marriage. Both parents had opposing messages for Steven Adams after the incident, which reportedly confused and scared him.
The messy breakup has gone on for years now, and both parties have made it clear on multiple occasions that there is no forgiveness going in any direction. In 2019, a domestic dispute in which Embiid reportedly tackled Russell Westbrook in a fit of rage became public, and Westbrook explained to media afterward his thoughts on his ex.
Steven Adams had stayed with Westbrook during years of the court fight, with Embiid occasionally visiting when he was in the Oklahoma City area. But in 2019, Adams was taken into the custody of Child Protective Services as Westbrook’s anger issues became increasingly problematic for the child’s safety. Not long after, Westbrook moved to Houston while Adams remained in Oklahoma City under CPS supervision. In November 2020, Adams was placed in the temporary care of his uncle in New Orleans, Brandon Ingram.
The ruling from the Philadelphia court mandates that Ingram will continue to look after the child, and Embiid and Westbrook, who now lives in Washington D.C., will be granted occasional visitation rights a few times each year.
“I love Steven with everything I got,” Ingram said. “I love taking him to the park and seeing him smile big while on the swings and going down slides and shit. He’s my little nephew. I love that dude.”
Westbrook and Embiid have not taken the news well, both blaming each other for being deprived of their baby.
“I hate that dude,” Westbrook said of Joel Embiid with a snear, swaying back and forth in his amazing technicolor dreamcoat. “That messy ho’s why I lost my Stevie. Fuck ‘im.”
It was announced on Thursday that the two will have meetings in Philadelphia and Washington to settle their score. Embiid, who expressed his disappointment with this process, used his power of condescension against his scorned lover.
“Russell is a very emotional guy, I do not know why he is like this,” Embiid said slowly, annunciating each word carefully as to display as much passive aggressive disrespect as humanly possible. “He gets very angry, it’s why he lost Steven the first time. He always hurts himself and gets in his own way. It is unfortunate and sad. I do wish better for him, and it is sad that Steven now cannot see me, his favorite father, as much as he should.”
A lot has been put on Adams’ plate through this chaos, and his poor little child brain is struggling to handle it. Being the humanitarian journalist that I am, I got to know Stevie one-on-one while playing in the sand box in Ingram’s backyard, the perfect place to grill a child with cutting questions.
“Daddy and daddy are always fighting,” Adams told me, looking down and averting eye contact, because he’s a small child who can’t fully process the complex human emotions he’s being forced to confront on a regular basis. “It makes me sad and hurts inside. I just want daddy and daddy to get along.”
He zoomed his super fast big red truck carrying Captain Freedom, the hero in Steven Adams’ imaginary sand land played by a 13-inch Flash action figure, across the sand on his way to battle Professor Doom, the villain in his nightmares represented by a Kevin Durant bobblehead with black sharpie dicks and mustaches drawn on and one of the arms clearly torn off, presumably in a fit of rage.
“Sometimes it feels like my fault,” Adams murmured softly as I scrambled to write down every juicy morsel of his misery. “I want a family.”
Satisfied with my quotes, I told Steven Adams that life was too short to blame yourself for anything and that the key to happiness is to lack so much care or empathy that you live in a blissful state of ignorance to all the suffering going on around you. He thanked me and called me “Mr. Tortuga,” which was adorable, and I promised him that when he grows up, he can do the opposite of the behavior he’s seen from his parents and not have any children at all.