It wasn’t always a guarantee that Joel Embiid would be a star in the NBA. After all, he has battled injuries in his short pro career so far. However, “The Process” has arrived in Philadelphia, and the same thing can most definitely be said about Embiid.
Look no further than Embiid being named Sports Illustrated’s Rising Star of the Year to figure that one out.
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid has been named Sports Illustrated’s Rising Star of the Year.
SI recognizes the champions of tomorrow by spotlighting the best up-and-coming athletes of today—and no one has a brighter future than the second-year 76ers star. As the centerpiece of Philadelphia’s rebuilding plan, The Process has led the long-suffering franchise to a winning record so far this season and is already one of the league’s best players and most entertaining personalities.
Not only has Embiid turned the Philadelphia 76ers into NBA contenders but he is also one of the most talented players on the court in just about every game he plays. He’s a 7-footer who can pull off the Eurostep to perfection. Not to mention, he can drain shots like it’s job from behind the arc.
Plus, Embiid is putting up some impressive stats.
Here’s the proof: Embiid is averaging 23.7 points, 11.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.9 blocks per game during the 2017-18 season.
Of course, Embiid isn’t the only player who has helped turn Philadelphia into a contender. Guys like Ben Simmons (and many others) deserve a lot of credit as well. And just in case you were wondering about that contender status, Philadelphia, at the time of writing, is the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference standings with a 14-13 record.
When it comes to his rise to stardom, this Sports Illustrated article puts it best:
Embiid is sort of the perfect superstar for the Internet age. One minute you will see a viral video of him running the streets of Philadelphia. Then he’s playing tennis in a local park. Then you’ll see him on Twitter, lecturing Hassan Whiteside about the Heat center’s subpar plus-minus. Then he’s back on the court with a hand to his ear, telling Philly fans he can’t hear them, playing to the crowd like a pro wrestler. During an era in which everything is news, Embiid news is consistently more entertaining than just about anything in sports.
“Basketball is about having fun,” Embiid told SI before the season. “If I’m not having fun, I’m not going to play well. If the crowd is not into the game, if I don’t get them going, I’m going to fall asleep. To me, it’s all about having fun.” For a player who lived through two-and-a-half seasons rehabbing injuries on training tables in Philadelphia, this attitude might be more profound than it seems.
It remains to be seen just how good Embiid can be, but as long as he continues to grow out on the basketball court, which he more than likely will, the sky is truly the limit for Embiid and the 76ers.
Joel Embiid, without a doubt, is a star.