I know, a super scary thought, but take a look so you can appreciate Embiid even more.
Last week, Joel Embiid was featured in a piece on The Players’ Tribune about his life. In this piece Joel talked about his life in Africa, struggling while in high school. He learned to shoot from “white guys”, and much more about his basketball career. Embiid mentioned that when getting to high school, he was not good and was even kicked out of the gym by his coach. He explained that he wanted to quit badly, however, stuck it out in hopes to prove the doubters wrong. Obviously, Embiid stuck it out and continued to learn the game. He would eventually turn into one of the best centers in today’s game. What if Embiid had given up though? What if Embiid went back to Africa and gave up on the sport altogether? Here are a few questions that can get people thinking about a life without Embiid.
What a blessing!!!! Started playing basketball in 2011 and it was here in South Africa that I got a once in a lifetime opportunity. Here I am lucky enough to represent Cameroon and the whole continent of Africa #TheProcess pic.twitter.com/FvE4sfC4ft
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) August 5, 2018
If Joel Embiid decided to leave the United States and give up on his dream, basketball in Philadelphia would not be the same. The current roster would surely look a lot different.
Would Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor still be on the team?
If Embiid was not the focus of the team, who would be the leader at the Center position? Okafor and Noel could still be in Philly if it were not for Embiid’s high level of play, so if he were never here in the first place, the team might have gone with the two of them. Noel and Okafor are decent role players, but nowhere near Joel. Having those two would not win the Sixers 50 games in a year.
What would the Sixers have done in the 2014 Draft?
Revamping the draft that Embiid was taken in would be the next step. If Embiid quits basketball, then who do the Sixers pick with the 3rd pick? If every draft pick was just moved up one pick, the Sixers would end up with Aaron Gordon. Gordon is a good player, but then again, no Embiid. This would also create problems with the roster at the power forward position with Dario Saric, so maybe they would never take Saric in the first place. If the Sixers had their eyes set on a center with that third pick, the next center taken was Jusuf
Nurkic with the 16th pick. At the end of the day, the 2014 draft class was not the greatest, and the Sixers made out perfect with Embiid at the number third pick and trying to figure out what they would have done can cause a headache.
What would the Sixers be?
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) July 2, 2018
The Sixers would look a lot different. As mentioned, Saric might not be there, Aaron Gordon could be on the team along with Nerlens and Okafor. Would the Sixers ever draft Simmons and Fultz? That is hard to gauge because the draft plan in future drafts could have been different if they were looking for a center. However, having Embiid to grow and build around turned out to be key. Who knows, the Sixers might have kept players such as, MCW and Tony Wroten. Those guys were certainly part of “The Process”, but not the end result. The end result included Embiid.
The other intriguing thing to think about is free agents who decided to come here. JJ Redick probably would not have chosen the Sixers if it were not for Embiid and the young team showing the potential that they have. Embiid will continue to show free agents that he is a great player to team up with.
Their record would be a lot worse, probably missing the playoffs and showing their youth a lot more than they do. They would not be considered one of the top Eastern Conference teams right now if it were not for Joel.
The fact of MCW, Nerlens, Okafor and crew, being the final product of “The Process” is a scary thought. Embiid is extremely valuable to this team and in more ways than fans think. Joel got the nickname, “The Process” for a reason, it is because he is the centerpiece for all of this.
It is safe to say that the city of Philadelphia is extremely lucky that he was determined to prove the doubters wrong. To that I say: Thank you, Joel Embiid, Philly loves you.
Oh, and the biggest piece, Joel is a monster on Twitter, and Philadelphia fans would not have been aware of his great sense of humor. He entertains the city of Philadelphia on and off the court, turning him into one of the biggest trash talkers in today’s world of sports, which fits right in with the Philly attitude.
To read the full article on The Players’ Tribune click here, https://www.theplayerstribune.com/en-us/articles/joel-embiid-its-story-time