Last week, Joel Embiid learned his fate as an All-Star starter. Now the big fella knows his running mates.
Embiid was selected to Team Stephen on Thursday during the first-ever All-Star Game draft. The NBA ditched the showcase’s traditional East-West format this season in favor of the two leading vote-getters from each conference (Cleveland’s LeBron James and Golden State’s Stephen Curry) serving as captains and picking the respective teams.
Embiid will be joined in the starting lineup with Curry, Houston’s James Harden, Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo. They will oppose James, Golden State’s Kevin Durant, Boston’s Kyrie Irving and New Orleans’ Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins.
“Joel is obviously going to be a future All-Star for many more years and this is his first go-around,” Curry said during TNT’s broadcast to announce the rosters. “Maybe one day that weekend he’ll take over my Twitter account and say some jokes for me.”
While Embiid is known to play around off the floor, his game has been all business this season. The center has averaged 23.7 points (49.1 percent shooting), 10.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.9 blocks in 31.5 minutes a game.
Those numbers allowed Embiid to become the Sixers’ first All-Star since Jrue Holiday in 2012-13 and the organization’s first starter since Allen Iverson in 2009-10.
“I feel very blessed to be in this type of position,” Embiid said last Thursday. “Thank all the fans out there for the support. It’s been a tough couple of years and I really appreciate it — everybody out there, everybody around me, the whole team, the whole organization, the fans especially, for making this happen. We can only get better from here.”
Click here to see the full rosters for the 67th NBA All-Star Game, which will take place on Sunday, Feb. 18, at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.