Not many NBA fans know the interesting development and backstory of Joel Embiid. As most of us should be aware, Embiid is coming off an incredible season with the Philadelphia 76ers. In the 66 games he played this regular season, Joel averaged an impressive 33.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 4.5 assists.
Since averaging 30 points for an entire season is something that only a handful of players can accomplish, one would assume that the 76ers star possesses phenomenal amounts of natural talent. However, he revealed that this wasn’t really the case. Let us take a closer look and find out what Embiid had to say about his development into the player he is today.
How did Joel Embiid make it to the NBA?
It might interest fans to know that Embiid doesn’t even have much experience in basketball when compared to most of his contemporaries. Despite being extremely gifted in terms of height and movement, Embiid only started showing interest in basketball when he was 15 years old.
That meant that he would be applying for the NBA Draft within a few years. However, the transition from Cameroon to the United States wasn’t very easy for Joel. Especially when he got dunked on ferociously. Joel revealed that all of these experiences made him don’t himself and whether he could actually make it.
“I was basically just imagining that I was a good basketball player. The power of the mind is kind of amazing. I mean, I sucked. But somehow, I convinced myself that I was Hakeem. And I started getting better and better. And then I sort of started killing it. I pretended my way to the NBA. I seriously got to the league by watching YouTube and living in the gym. There’s no other way to explain it… That’s my life It happened so fast that it doesn’t even make sense.”
Since he wasn’t sure, Embiid just decided to believe in himself and move forward even if things didn’t make sense to him at the time. Coming back to present times, there is no denying that he is one of the most dominant players in the league. Somewhere along the way, Embiif found encouragement and support to go along with his own hard work and determination. As a result of his efforts, he has been awarded the 2023 MVP award.