The NBA world went bonkers when the Philadelphia 76ers gave injury-riddled center Joel Embiid a five-year, $148 million extension in early October. Most thought it was risky and head scratching move by a Sixers franchise that has been irrelevant since that lanky, high-flying, team-leading, braids-rocking, bucket -stuffer left the building for the last time back in 2009-10. After all, Embiid has been trying to get healthy and begin his NBA career since the 76ers selected him with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. A lot of fans had lost hope.
This is the same injury that ended careers of Yao Ming & Bill Walton……. I don’t think Joel Embiid will ever be healthy enough to play.
When this NBA season began, Embiid had only played in 31 NBA games. The Cameroon native, struggled with injuries, but when he was on the court he displayed flashes of potential dominance and a multi-faceted game that is rarely seen in a player his size, averaging 20.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game in his limited NBA duties, before blossoming this season into a 23.0 ppg and 11.2 rpg terror. Note to NBA squads: Embiid says he’s still only functioning at 69 percent capacity.
I’m at 69%” @JoelEmbiid after his career-high performance vs. the @Lakers. #TrustTheProcess https://t.co/5MbvyK2RKd
If Embiid meets the super max criteria over his designated rookie scale maximum contract, he could reportedly earn as much as $178 million, so he has a lot of incentive to remain healthy. The Sixers, currently in fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings, aren’t taking chances with their investment and have limited him to under 30 minutes per game, but on Wednesday night Embid silenced all of the critics and put an end to any discussion about his worth. In just 36 minutes of action against the Lakers, Embiid scored 46 points, grabbed 15 boards and blocked blocks, making him the first player since the immortal Dr. J in 1982 to accumulate 40 points, 7 assists and 7 blocks in a game.
In a 115-109 victory over the Lakers last night, #Sixers big man @JoelEmbiid scored a career-high 46 points 14-20 fg (70 percent) 2-3 from 3 To go along with 15 rebounds, 7 assists, and 7 blocks. #TrustTheProcess
The NBA started recording blocks back in the 70s and according to ESPN, the last baller to post a stat line like Embiids was Kareem-Abdul Jabbar back in 1980. Embiids 46 points are also the most by a 76ers player since Allen Iverson in 2006. Philly hasnt seen a dynamic player with that scoring potential in over a decade.
WHAT A NIGHT #TheProcess
Against Lonzo Balls Lakers, the world finally saw Embiid as that omnipotent force that the league has been waiting to emerge and it comes at the perfect time as Philly has a band of young ballers led by Embiid and Ben Simmons, who are forming a formidable group for the future. “When you think a team with two guys who have the size and the skill to go with that size, the only comparison…is Magic and Kareem,” said ESPN host Max Kellerman. ”
Theres no doubt that Embiid is the centerpiece of that Philly funskter movement. Hes scary good and all we can hope is that he remains healthy long enough to put some significance minutes in on the floor and help the 76ers continue to rise to that next tier of NBA squads.