Joel Embiid on Friday promoted the North American release of the “UA Embiid Origin One,” the debut colorway of his signature shoe. The shoe is meant to represent the early stages of Embiid’s journey to the NBA, which began in Yaounde, Cameroon.
Shortly after, he sent out another tweet, one that may not be aligned with Under Armour messaging. With any Embiid tweet, it’s probably worth cautioning that his Twitter name is Joel “Troel” Embiid.
The three-time All-Star missed out on an All-NBA team after being a Second Team selection the past two seasons, with Anthony Davis, Nikola Jokic and Rudy Gobert the three centers named ahead of him. Davis and Jokic are about to face off in the Western Conference Finals, while All-Star big man Bam Adebayo and the Miami Heat have a 2-0 lead over the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. Ben Simmons was named to the All-NBA Third Team.
As the Sixers determine their front-office setup and search for their new head coach, it’s interesting to wonder where exactly Embiid fits into the big picture. Mike D’Antoni, who’s reportedly a candidate to replace Brett Brown, would not be an intuitive fit with Embiid.
After being swept by the Celtics in the first round, a series in which he averaged 30.0 points and 12.3 rebounds, Embiid was asked whether the uncertainty about the Sixers’ future would change his approach.
“Like I said, I don’t make the decisions,” he said. “I’m here in Philly. Whatever happens, happens. I always say that I want to end my career here. If it happens, good. If it doesn’t happen, well, you move on and all that stuff. But I’m here and I’m going to still try to do my best to bring a championship back to Philly. We’ve got a lot of great talent on the team — Ben, Tobias (Harris), Al (Horford), Shake (Milton), Matisse (Thybulle). Alec (Burks) proved to be a big piece off the bench, (Furkan Korkmaz). We’ve got a bunch of great players, you’ve just gotta find a way to make it work. I think we can. Like I said, I’ve just gotta go about it and just do my job.”
While we don’t yet know when the 2020-21 season will start, the 2020 NBA draft is set to take place on Nov. 18. Embiid said on Aug. 23 he’s aiming to make all-around improvements this offseason and noted he can’t station himself in the post all game. He was the NBA’s leader in post-ups and produced a highly efficient 1.10 points per post-up possession last year.
“I feel like this is the first time I go in healthy going into the offseason, so that’s good,” he said. “I’ve got my family to take care of. But I’ve gotta get better. What I did during these playoffs obviously wasn’t enough. I’ve gotta do better, we’ve all gotta do better. Like I said, I’m always looking to improve everything as far as my game goes.
“A lot of people always want me to be a big man and they want me to be (Shaquille O’Neal), but this league and this game is completely different. They call a bunch of offensive fouls all the time — you can’t elbow people; you can’t use your elbows; you can’t people all over the place; you can’t post up as much anymore. You’ve gotta move the ball and all that stuff. I’ve just gotta work on my game and fit whatever the team wants me to be.”