Philadelphia Approves NBA Star Joel Embiid As The City’s MVP
Joel Hans Embiid is a Cameroonian National Basketball Association basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers. After one season with the Kansas Jayhawks in college basketball, he was selected third overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2014 NBA draft. Unfortunately, multiple foot and knee injuries delayed his debut by two seasons, until 2016–17, when he was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team despite having played in only 31 games.
Embiid is a five-time NBA All-Star, a three-time All-NBA Team member, and a three-time All-Defensive Team member. In reaction to a theme from 76ers supporters during the Sam Hinkie era, “believe the process,” he has dubbed himself “the Process.” During the 2021–22 NBA season, Joel Embiid led the league in scoring, becoming the first center since Shaquille O’Neal in 2000, the first center since Moses Malone in 1982 to score over 30 points per game, and the first foreign player to lead the league in scoring.
There was a moment when it was uncertain if the Philadelphia 76ers should rest on Joel Embiid’s wide shoulders. When he danced naked onstage at a Meek Mill performance in 2017 while out with a knee ailment, he raised issues about his maturity. The former head of basketball operations for the organization, Bryan Colangelo, described it as “a bit” disappointed.
The more concerning questions were about Embiid’s conditioning and weight after he was drafted in 2014, but after he missed his first two seasons with foot injuries, his durability became a topic of discussion. That was when the Sixers went through one of the worst periods in franchise history, also known as The Process.
Fast forward to now: Embiid has convincingly put all those concerns to rest. Over the last two seasons, he has transformed into one of the best players in the N.B.A. and a contender for the Most Valuable Player Award.
Furthermore, he is not a superstar. He is a Philadelphia Superstar, a quintessential man of the people. Since being picked by the Sixers, Embiid has made his time in Philadelphia an integral part of his identity, while a steady stream of other elite players have departed their clubs. The title of his Twitter biography is “PROCESSING.” The name alludes to the Sixers’ stretch of losing seasons in the middle of the 2010s, during which they accumulated draft selections that have contributed in part to their current success.
Everywhere you walk in Philadelphia, you will see Embiid’s No. 21 on the back of shirts with “PHILA” on the front. This season, he earned $31.58 million, but he has been dubbed a hero, a rare accolade. He appeared exhausted on Tuesday, but he has been sustaining a team throughout the whole season by blocking shots, taking charging fouls, and grabbing rebounds, which are unspectacular but vital contributions.
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