Updated: 7:54 p.m.
Joel Embiid has signed a five-year deal with Under Armour that will make him the highest-paid center in the NBA, according to ESPN's Nick DePaula.
But according to Embiid, the deal is bigger than basketball.
That's the theme of a piece Embiid penned on the Under Armour website. In the piece, he remembers his improbable journey from a "skinny as hell" 16-year-old who had never played basketball to NBA All-Star.
And he writes about wanting to honor the memory of his late brother Arthur through his partnership with Under Armour.
Basketball has given me everything, but it has to be bigger than basketball. That was the first thing that I said to Under Armour, and they were behind it 100 percent. This isn’t about a shoe deal. I mean, listen ... I’m gonna make sure they design some shoes as pretty as I am. Don’t worry about that. We’re gonna take care of that.
But this is bigger than that. I want to use this partnership to do something real. I want to do something that would make my brother proud.
Embiid recalls the pain and "daily struggles" he saw on his trip to South Africa this summer for the NBA Africa Games, and wanting to continue to give back to those kids who "got so much to give the world."
But Embiid says he wants to start in Philly.
"Ya’ll trusted The Process. Y’all have had my back," Embiid writes. "Now I’m gonna do my best to have your back. I’m going to be working on some big things with Under Armour. I got a few surprises coming for the Philly community, and for the rest of the world."
We'll have to wait to see exactly what Embiid has planned, but it sounds like he has some big ideas on his mind.
He gave a taste of what's to come Wednesday, appearing at a Boys & Girls Club in the city.
Embiid elaborated on his plans at the event.
"We got to sit down and talk about it," he told reporters. "But during the meetings and coversations we had, (the community aspect) was a big part. Me being from Africa, you kind of feel like you have to do it. My brother played a huge role in it, because the last three years of his life I wasn’t around because I was in the U.S.
"From what I heard, he was giving, especially to the people in the neighborhood that didn’t have a lot. He was always taking stuff from the house and going to give back. I kind of want to keep that going. I started with a foundation back home, which my parents are taking care of. With Under Armour’s help, I think we’re going to do great things.”
As far as the shoes themselves are concerned, Embiid will no doubt become a major face for Under Armour. It wouldn't be surprising to see an Embiid signature shoe soon enough.
"Signature shoes?" Embiid said on the Sixers' recent trip to China, per ESPN.com's Tim McMahon. "We might be able to make it happen at some point, and I'm excited about it. I'm excited."