For Joel Embiid, spending his entire career with one franchise remains one of his top basketball goals. Like players he idolizes – Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki – Embiid wants to be remembered as a player who stayed loyal to his team for the long run.
Embiid on spending entire career with one franchise: "I want to be Kobe Bryant. I want to be Tim Duncan. I want to be Dirk Nowitzki.”
— Molly Sullivan (@MSullivanFrench) October 28, 2017
Each of the three players Embiid listed revolutionized their respective franchises for nearly two decades: Kobe with the Lakers, Nowitzki with the Mavericks, and Tim Duncan with the Spurs. All three lead their teams to an NBA title, as well as several successful playoff runs – something Sixers fans hope Joel Embiid will do.
The Sixers drafted Embiid with the third overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft. Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan all stayed with their teams past draft night. Nowitzki and Bryant were traded to their franchises on draft night, while Duncan was drafted by the Spurs.
So far this season, Embiid has averaged 20.6 points and 10.2 rebounds in five games, shooting 49 percent from the field. These numbers come with him seeing just 27 minutes per contest.
Since being drafted, Embiid has played just 36 games due to numerous significant injuries. Provided he stays healthy, people around the NBA expect him to become one of the league’s elite players — whether he’s in a Sixers jersey or not.