Sixers Media Day: Highlights from Joel Embiid’s Press Conference

Philadelphia 76ers, Joel Embiid. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Philadelphia 76ers, Joel Embiid. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
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Philadelphia 76ers, Joel Embiid (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Philadelphia 76ers, Joel Embiid (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

Superstar athletes tend to be calculated with the words they choose. Hype up the place where your feet are. Don’t upset the fan base. And never talk about winning championships somewhere else. The latter got Joel Embiid into some hot water back in July when he told Maverick Carter that he wanted to win a championship, then added (via NBC Sports): “I don’t know where that’s gonna be, whether it’s in Philly or anywhere else, I just want to have a chance to accomplish that. ”

Embiid was asked to clarify those comments since many interpreted them as a warning to the front office. The 29-year-old center wasn’t going to waste his prime wallowing away in mediocrity if the Sixers decided to go through another rebuild. This wasn’t a trade request, but it was the first signal that something was wrong. Embiid’s future suddenly was in question.

Well, the 7-footer delivered a ringing endorsement for the City of Brotherly Love at Media Day — and he did it in no uncertain terms.

“It’s all about consistency. If every year it’s going to be the same thing then that doesn’t push you closer to winning a championship so that gets frustrating. But I also believe that, like I said, it doesn’t matter who is on the team. I’m always going to believe that I have a chance to win, so it’s all up to me really, to just go out there and do whatever it takes to and I’m here in Philly, I love Philly. I’ve been here my whole career. It’s all about winning a championship mostly, really, if I gotta be honest … if we were to win a championship, it would be for the city and the fans because they deserve it. You know, going through the Process years and the disappointments, I don’t think anyone wants to go back to that era of basketball, where you have no shot of winning, but when you got a bunch of good players on the basketball team, anything can happen.”

Embiid pointed to a few reasons why he believes the 2023-24 edition of the Philadelphia 76ers has a real shot at achieving that championship goal. It starts with Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris, then trickles down to new acquisition Kelly Oubre Jr. 

“Tyrese, I think he’s ready to take another step. Tobias, I expect him to be great like he’s always been, contract year … James, contract year, if he is to show up. We got a bunch of other guys, new guys, you know Kelly, I think he’s going to help us a lot. There are so many other guys. We’re just trying to focus, taking it day by day, and trying to figure out how to win as a team with a new coaching staff. we don’t know how long that’s going to take to gel to a new system but it’s exciting going out and trying to figure it out.”