All-Star Weekend | Embiid Puts Skills on Display

by Brian Seltzer Reporter


Whenever Joel Embiid steps onto a basketball court, two factors almost always become immediately clear:

The big man wants to win, badly, but also makes it a point to have fun.

Despite his best efforts - and then some - in Saturday’s Taco Bell Skills Challenge at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Embiid came up short in his bid to become the first 76er ever to win the event.

He didn’t go down without making things interesting, though.

Did Embiid attempt to pull one over on the judges during the passing portion of the competition? Perhaps.

It would’ve been interesting to see what would’ve happened had he knocked down a three before Lauri Markkanen did, but with the Chicago rookie forward flushing a triple first, Embiid was eliminated, and his trickery became a moot point.

A capable perimeter shooter in his own right, Embiid relied on his 3-point touch to survive a first-round match-up with Boston’s Al Horford.

Brooklyn guard Spencer Dinwiddie won Saturday’s Skills Challenge, which led off State Farm All-Star Saturday Night. Later in the evening, Phoenix guard Devin Booker claimed the JBL Three-Point Contest crown, while Utah rookie guard Donovan Mitchell was named the Verizon Slam Dunk Contest champion.

What They’re Saying:

All in all, Joel Embiid seemed to have a good time Saturday. He was the third player in Sixers history chosen for the Skills Competition, which started back in 2003.

Up Next:

All-Star Weekend 2018 culminates Sunday at 8 PM EST on TNT with the NBA’s 67th annual All-Star Game itself. On track to be the first Sixer to start the exhibition since Allen Iverson in 2006, the 7-footer will play for the team drafted by Golden State’s Steph Curry, and join forces with the likes of the Warriors’ two-time MVP, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, Houston’s James Harden, and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan.

Embiid is the 31st player in team history to appear in an All-Star Game. Four Sixers - Hal Greer, Julius Erving, Charles Barkley, and Iverson - have taken home All-Star MVP honors, a prize Embiid has said in recent days he has his eyes on.