Joel Embiid was the biggest risk Sam Hinkie took. He drafted him in the 2014 Draft at no.3 knowing Joel would miss the entire season healing a navicular bone fracture in his foot. Just as that season ended and everyone expected to see Embiid working out to finally start his NBA career, it was released he has to have another surgery leading him to miss the entire 2015/2016 season as well.
His talent was undeniable, his body was the main risk factor. All his drinking and eating videos didn’t help as he was exploring all the food USA has to offer. After two years of recovery he finally started to play in the NBA, but from his first game on 4 October 2016 he has been sidelined with a foot injury twice, knee injury twice and a back problem. All injuries that are more easily managed and prevented if you’re not carrying unnecessary weight.
With all the roster changes this summer, it is hard to keep track, but you probably instinctively know the 76ers are Finals contenders at least. Everyone agrees the one thing with the single greatest impact on their chances to get their hand on the Larry O’Brien trophy is Embiid’s ability to play big minutes in the playoffs. Joel mentioning he lost 25 pounds this summer points in the right direction, but will that be enough? Here’s Scottie Pippen on The Jump:
“I think what he has to do is keep the weight off. I think him being overweight has been
his biggestissue in his career. Cause he’s been injured here and there, they’ve had to sit him and I think it’s all falling because of his weight. Id he can stay in shape, stay healthy then I think the sky is the limit for the Philadelphia 76ers.”
The Sixers have no more excuses. They have the talent. They have the experience. Their star players are mature enough. On top of it all, their season ended on a dramatic Kawhi shot in a series they had the upper hand. Joel cried his heart out that night, and that’s the fuel players need to think off working their ass off in the summer.
Let’s see if Joel really wants it.