A new workout video of Sixers center Joel Embiid shows just how far the big man has come. And if I was the NBA, I’d be scared silly.
I will admit that I was not thrilled when the Philadelphia 76ers drafted Joel Embiid in 2014. I was of the opinion that they should have made some kind of deal to get the No. 1 overall pick and grab Andrew Wiggins out of Kansas. I thought drafting Embiid, who was recovering from surgery to fix navicular bone in his right foot, was a risky use of the pick and might not pay dividends in the long run.
My conviction was only deepened when after missing the entire 2014-15 season, Embiid sat for the 2015-16 season as well. It turned out the first surgery didn’t work, so he needed a second procedure to try to repair the navicular bone once again.
While all this was going on, those who were high on Embiid kept saying that he was going to be an incredible talent. That he had so much potential it was frightening. That even with the addition of Ben Simmons and Dario Saric finally joining the team, Embiid was going to be the player that was going to determine the success or failure of The Process.
I am now ready to acknowledge that I may have been completely wrong.
As more and more video starts to come out of Embiid working out, it is becoming very apparent to me that the man is going to be a beast on the court. You watch him move on the hardwood and it is easy to forget that Embiid only has one year of actual playing experience and has had the last two years off.
The latest is an Instagram post from trainer Drew Hanlen who has been working with the 7-foot-2 center on his game. And it is a thing of wonder to behold.
Seriously? Are you freaking kidding me?
Embiid makes it look so easy. There is enough natural talent there to already make him something special in the NBA. Add some training and lessons from a man like Sixers head coach Brett Brown and Embiid could be a once-in-a-lifetime type of player.
The kind that will make opposing players rethink we they even decided to play basketball.
Brown appeared on The Lowe Post podcast a few weeks ago and said that all signs point towards Embiid being ready to go.
“I will tell you that, behind closed doors, physically, mentally, recent scans medically, everything is pointing in the right direction.”
And then said that yes, Embiid will be ready to play when the Sixers preseason opens on October 4 against the Boston Celtics.
Once that happens, the rest of the NBA will be on notice.
Joel Embiid is coming. Be very afraid.