After just missing the cut last season, center Joel Embiid has been named as a starter on the Eastern Conference All-Star roster.
Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers is an All-Star.
The young man from Cameroon who until seven years ago had never even played the sport of basketball found out Thursday that he has been named a starter for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game.
Embiid will be joined by fellow starters LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kyrie Irving and DeMar DeRozan in representing the Eastern Conference. The West will have Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins as their starters.
When all the numbers had been crunched, Embiid came in third with NBA fans, third among the basketball media and fourth among his fellow players.
Embiid is the first member of the Sixers to be named as a starter in the All-Star Game since Allen Iverson way back in the 2010-11 season.
NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato got Embiid’s reaction when he found out he had been named an All-Star.
Joel Embiid reacts to being named an All-Star starter: pic.twitter.com/Rtt3NflAsn
— Jessica Camerato (@JCameratoNBCS) January 18, 2018
Embiid has been having an incredible season, averaging 23.8 points, 10.8 rebounds 3.4 assists and 1.9 blocked shots in the 31 games he has played in. His numbers are up across the board and best of all, he has already played in as many games this year as he did all last season.
More importantly, Embiid is showing a toughness and tenacity that he didn’t have last season. He is playing hurt when he has to and the minute restriction is all but gone. He is starting to show the potential that so many have been saying is there from day one.
And that has been rewarded with a trip to the All-Star Game as a starter.
While Embiid will be a starter, fellow Sixer Ben Simmons will have to wait to see if he is named a reserve. While he has played exceptionally well this season, averaging 16.8 points per game, it is very rare for rookies to be named as starters, no matter how deserving.
Unlike in years past, this time the All-Star Game won’t be strictly East versus West. Instead the two players who garnered the most votes, in this case James and Curry, will be selecting their rosters on Jan. 25 as team captains.
The 2018 NBA All-Star Game will be played at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 18.
Now, has anyone gotten a hold of Rihanna? Because I think our man Embiid is owed a date.