Joel Embiid is having quite the summer; dunking on scrawny random guys around Philly, destroying Mo Bamba, but also failing to recruit LeBron James to join the Sixers.
But who cares about that last one? Embiid certainly doesn't.
Embiid "literally did not really care" that the Sixers came up empty in their star-hunting efforts, he told ESPN on a press conference to promote the NBA's annual Africa Game.
LeBron? Kawhi? Who cares. Embiid seems to believe that he's already better than them. Yes, you read that right.
"I want to be better than those guys that were mentioned, if I'm not already better than them," Embiid said.
You gotta love that confidence.
Sure, Embiid is already one of the best bigs in the league, but he believes he still has room to grow. And with his first healthy offseason in a looooong time, he's finally able to focus on getting better rather than rehabbing.
"I've already gotten so much better. It's just about working on everything, perfecting everything," he said. "Like when it comes to my three-point shot or the ball handling, which was a problem. I feel like I can do it, but I just need to be consistent."I don't think it matters, big free agent or not," he said. "My goal going into the offseason was to get better.
"I want to win the MVP. I feel like at the end of the day it might be an individual award, but when I play better, the team also does. I feel like if I'm an MVP candidate or if I win the MVP, that means we are on another level."
Embiid is perfectly content missing out on the bevy of free agent superstars, allowing the Sixers' young stars — along with Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz — to grow into dominant NBA players.
With LeBron moving out West, the East is wide open for the Sixers, who figure to be even better with the promise of a healthy Fultz.
"We have a great group of guys. A lot of guys coming back," Embiid said.
"Last year, we won 52 games. This next year is going to be even much better with the addition of Wilson Chandler. I expect Markelle [Fultz] to be back to himself."
We'll get our first glimpse at the new Embiid this Saturday when Team Africa takes on Team World in the Pretoria, South Africa.