Key Points: Joel Embiid Speaks with the Media
On a video call yesterday, Joel Embiid caught up with the media about a bunch of different topics surrounding the team and the NBA’s plan to resume play later this month inside “the bubble.”
Joel Embiid, like most players, expressed doubt in the NBA’s plan.
“I hated the idea,” Embiid said. “I feel like with everything that has been going on, it’s unfortunate what’s been going on in the world. Obviously people look at it in a different way. There might be some other reasons behind everything going on. To me, that part never mattered. To me, all I want is to stay healthy and stay safe, keep the people around me safe. I want to make sure I’m able to live for a long time and not have any sort of consequences in the future from this if I were to be in a situation where I was getting the virus.
Regardless, the big fella is ready to rock.
“Unfortunately, I’m not a big fan of the idea. But then again, I’m going to do my job. I’m not going to let the city down. I’m going to represent my city – that’s what I’ve always done – my family, my teammates. The mindset doesn’t change. It doesn’t matter the fact that I don’t like that idea and I still don’t believe in it. I don’t think it’s going to be safe enough.
Embiid, in classic fashion, isn’t too worried about himself adhering to any rules in place inside the bubble, which makes sense. He’s never really been into the whole party scene, but rather using his free-time to play video games, hang with family and friends, and keep a low profile.
“Because I know I’m going to do the right things, I know I don’t ever do anything, I only play video games, I’m always home – I don’t do anything. But then again, I don’t trust those other guys to do the same. But, like I said, I’ve gotta do my job.
Of course, there is concern that other NBA players will not follow the rules.
“I look at myself and I’ve been doing this for quite a bit now – six, seven years,” he said. “Like I said, all I do is play video games and stay in my room on the road, or even when I’m home. Just stay home, play video games, do what I’ve got to do. Just being with my family.
“And obviously we’re all different. Some guys like to go out and some guys like to do stuff, (there are) some guys that like adventure. So that’s the way I’m thinking. I know myself. I know I’m not going to put everybody else at risk, but the question is, is everybody else going to do the same? And just being around this business, I surely don’t think so.”
Embiid considered opting out of returning to play, as I’m sure every player did at some point. But at the end of the day, thankfully he knew he had to represent the Sixers and the city of Philadelphia.
I thought about it,” he said, “but then again, I wouldn’t let my teammates down. I play in a city that’s tough and I consider myself as being tough … I’m not going to give up that easily. If you told me that the current trend is that people are getting sick and a lot of people are dying, obviously you don’t know what’s going to happen and you don’t want to be in a situation where you put your life at risk … and all that stuff, just for what? The money and all that stuff. At the end of the day, basketball is not all that matters. I’ve got family, I’ve got myself to look out for. That’s all I care about.
“At the end, when it’s all said and done, basketball shouldn’t define me. I should be looked at as just Joel Embiid the person. Like I said, it’s unfortunate but I want to represent my city. I’ve been here too long. This is my opportunity. I believe we have a great chance of winning the championship. Still not 100 percent sure, but that’s what I’m thinking. I want to represent the city. I don’t want to let my teammates down, I don’t want to let anybody down. I’ve been working too hard for this and I’ve just got to keep pushing and hope for the best.
Embiid looks healthy and seems to be his normal self. When he speaks, the entire city listens. He had this to say about Ben Simmons.
“We’re going to need him, I know,” Embiid said. “It’s a team game. I’m going to do my best to keep helping him and create some space for him, and we all got to do the same thing just to help each other. At the end of the day, it’s all about winning a championship, and I feel like he has the right mindset, that’s what he wants to do. I know one thing about him, he wants to win, and he’s going to do what it takes to win.”
As for himself, Embiid sees no issue and he is ready to dominate.
“That should not even be a question,” Embiid said. “I know I’m capable of carrying the team, so it’s all about me being assertive. If I feel like I’m not getting the ball, I just got to talk to them and do what I have to do. But at the end of the day, I should never be in a position to complain about getting the ball, just because of who I am. I believe I can carry the team, and I believe being able to do that, I just got to take matters into my own hands. And obviously, I need to be in positions where I feel comfortable, and I believe my teammates are going to help.”
Embiid and the Sixers are still focused on one thing: A Championship.
“But I want to represent my city. I’ve been here too long, and this is my opportunity. I feel like we have a great chance. I believe we have a great chance of winning the championship. Still not 100 percent sure but that’s what I’m thinking. I want to represent the city, I don’t want to let my teammates down, I don’t want to let anybody down, and I’ve been working too hard for this so I just got to keep pushing and hope for the best.”