The league has been around for such a time where us fans have seen it all. Players have let their careers unfold through the same template that has been seen time and time again; high school standout with an unsurprising one-and-done college career who joins the league with the typical retort on how he can contribute to the team.
Entering a new era where important figures have called it a career, they have left the league in state of unfamiliarity, full of characterless players and tales of so called superteams. True fans crave for an untold narrative, the next enigma to play out his career in a league where competition was once thrilling.
Enter Joel Embiid.
You know him as the prospect, the next great big man. Though what makes him special is the way how he’s going about his adolescent NBA career. The big guy has no shortage in charisma nor social media hilarity which at this day and age is both fun for the fans and shows that he is as genuine as it gets. We see this in very few players in the league. When we do note it in the sports world however, we see that those who embody the expressive bravado attract more eyes and possess the aura of a superstar. Conor McGregor, Odell Beckham Jr., Usain Bolt, Neymar, to name a few. More often than not this breed of players highly excel in their field, and outside of it, they let everyone know about it. Basketball fans are slowly taking note of Joel Embiid and rightfully so. At this rate Embiid is paving his way into basketball stud-celebrity status.
As far as Embiid’s on-court actions have been, they have looked more than promising. Coming off foot and back related injuries, he is just entering his rookie season. From what we have seen so far he clearly has the natural skill to make it in this league. Though what is even more impressive and promising is his ability to adapt and progress as a player. Embiid started playing basketball at a very late stage in his career, playing mainly soccer and volleyball throughout his childhood; explaining his fluidity in his movement and exceptional athleticism for a 7-foot 250 pound man. Just look at how the guy runs.
His background of the game is unheard of. From a short span of time, Embiid started playing basketball, was recruited by Kansas and became the 3rd overall pick in the 2014 draft. Embiid has even claimed that the time he entered college, he didn’t have the basic fundamentals, like passing the ball, that kids are being taught in JV practices (source: http://www2.kusports.com/weblogs/hawks_nba/2016/jun/14/joel-embiid-i-wasnt-good-at-all-before-p/). This shows his natural ability to grow as a player as well as his work ethic.
Seeing as he is just getting started, us fans have so much to look forward to in such an interesting player. We can only be thankful to have Embiid embark on his career at time all-time greats are just getting off. We can also get comfortable watching the man take headlines for plays on the court and antics on our social media feeds.