There used to be a big guy who played center for the Philadelphia 76ers after playing college ball at the University of Kansas. He could run like the wind and was strong as a Caterpillar. He was genial, loved to laugh, and lived his giant life with tremendous passion. His name was Wilt Chamberlain and he won an NBA title with the Sixers in 1967.
Now 22-year-old native Cameroonian Joel Embiid steps in to play center for the 76ers — two years after he was drafted #3 overall out of Kansas. (The 7’2″, 275-pound Embiid has been waylaid by injuries which delayed his debut.) Embiid — finally about to begin his NBA journey — has plenty in common with Chamberlain besides their shared Kansas pedigree and a 275-pound weight. Embiid too runs like the wind. He too lives with passion and boundless energy. Philly writer Keith Pompey calls Embiid downright “jovial.” Teammate Jahlil Okafor told Pompey: “[Embiid] has everything. There’s not one thing I can pinpoint from his characteristics on the floor, off the floor, how hard he works, how competitive he is. Then you add in his skill set and his size, it’s unbelievable.” Sounds a lot like his contemporaries describing Chamberlain. Safe to say Embiid will never score 100 points in a game, but Wilt brought an NBA Championship to Philly. Bad as the Sixers have been in recent years, that still seems like a possibility that’ll fit on Embiid’s resume.
Embiid running the floor against Sixers coaches. pic.twitter.com/gnKplZFuT7
— Jessica Camerato (@JCameratoCSN) October 24, 2016