Yesterday the Sixers did what they had to do. They re-signed once in a generation talent Joel Embiid to five year $148 million max extension. (According to reports there are major injury protections.)
Believe it or not, Embiid who was drafted in 2014 was due to become a restricted free agent at season’s end.
Most Sixer fans (myself included) have been “trusting the process” since the slogan was “together we build.”
With yesterday’s news, the process has officially ended and the Sixers, and us (the fans) will have to move on to the next phase.
This article isn’t meant to be negative, but pardon me for having my reservations.
Believe me, I get it, Embiid is that damn good. He is a big part, if not the most important part, of a nucleus that could bring this city its first NBA title since 1983.
Last season was the most fun I’ve had watching basketball since the early Iverson days.
20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per-game. When Embiid was on the court he was a man among boys. I’ve never seen a player impact a game on as many levels as he did.
His electric personality, on top of his amazing play, has made Embiid a folk hero in this city.
Joel Embiid #NBAVOTE took Twitter by storm, I probably tweeted it over 100 times.
BUT, I still have my reservations.
Embiid has played a total of 51 games between college and the NBA. No matter what you say or how you feel- that’s a fact.
This wasn’t just a freak injury either. He has now had 3 major injuries between Kansas, pre-draft workouts, and his first NBA season.
An electric personality can only get you so far.
No matter who you are, signing a MAX contract puts pressure on you to be on the court.
The Process is done; it's over.
There is no more tanking, no more lottery parties, and no more excuses.
This is new territory for the Sixers and their max player.
The last few years were easy. Fans were OK with losing and rightfully so. It was the smart thing to do. Whether you like tanking or not, you have to be smart enough to understand that it was the right move.
But now and moving forward, fans and media aren’t going to be as understanding.
I am not advocating for them to even be a playoff team this year, but there must be progress.
If Embiid is hurt...
It will no longer be roses and butterflies.
It won’t be cute seeing him dancing at a concert.
It won’t be as funny to see him across social media and not on the court.
It won’t be a love fest seeing him at every night club and party in the city.
We need to see results and most importantly Embiid on the court.
The process is now over and the pressure is now on Joel Embiid.