The Philadelphia 76ers will have their first All-Star since the 2012-13 season when Joel Embiid takes the floor In New Orleans on February 19th. Embiid opened up the first official voting numbers as the 4th highest Eastern Conference frontcourt player with 221,984 votes coming ahead of New York Knicks Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis, Chicago Bulls Jimmy Butler, Indiana Pacers, Paul George and the Miami Heat’ Hassan Whiteside.
That is quite a feat considering that many thought Embiid would become the next Andrew Bynum or worse, the next Greg Oden.
Embiid was taken with the 3rd pick in the 2014 Draft and missed what would be his rookie season with an injury. The Sixers and fans got worried when the knee didn’t heal properly and he was shelved yet again. But, 2016 came and he made his debut and well, the rest has been a dream come true for Embiid, the 76ers, and the fans. Embiid has earned a bit of those 221k+ votes with season averages of 19 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks in only 25 minutes per.
What Embiid has done the for organization is provide hope for the future for a team that was accused of tanking just a season ago. Once the team finally decides to make a decision on moving either Jahlil Okafor or Nerlens Noel and get a healthy Ben Simmons on the floor then we will really get to see Embiid at his finest with capable players by his side.
Right now, he and the 76ers can bask in the glory that they did something right and all the losing and media bashing may just pay off in the end. Embiid is a throwback player to the days of Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, and Hakeem Olajuwon when Centers played with their backs to the basket and did the dirty work necessary for their team to be successful.
At 9-24 the 76ers are clearly out of the playoff race but their future is still bright. Leading the way is will be their first NBA All-Star since Jrue Holiday.