All-Star Weekend | Leftover Quotes of Note
All-Star Weekend 2018 came fast and furious, and the 76ers’ talented trio of participants certainly left their mark in their own separate ways.
Ben Simmons was a facilitating machine in Friday’s Mtn Dew Kickstart Rising Stars Game, joining forces with fellow Sixers starter Dario Saric to help propel Team World to a one-sided victory over Team USA.
Joel Embiid was part of Friday’s rookie-sophomore showdown, too, but the spotlight shined on him the brightest Saturday and Sunday, in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge and All-Star Game, respectively. Needless to say, the big man didn’t disappoint.
Amidst the whirlwind of All-Star activity the past few days, there were plenty of noteworthy quotes to come out of Tinseltown. Here’s a roundup of a few that stood out...
On All-Star Weekend:
“I wanted to participate in the 3-point contest. Maybe next year.”
On discovering social media:
“When I knew I was going to miss my first year, I needed a source of fun. I just figured social media would be a way for me to have fun, and I got into it.”
On spending All-Star Weekend with Ben Simmons, Dario Saric:
“It’s great being with them. We’re building a chemistry. I love those guys, my teammates. The locker room has been excellent. Being with them here is amazing, I love it.”
On whether he’d ever get involved in movie projects:
“There’s been a few opportunities that have come up, depending on my time. Maybe there might be a movie soon, maybe there might not, [but] this year, we have a chance to make the playoffs. That’s what I’m focused on, everything else comes second.”
On being an All-Star from Africa:
“I’m excited to be here representing Africa. It’s not just about Cameroon, I feel like I represent the whole continent. I hope that in the future, there’s more of us that are able to be in this type of atmosphere, because this is the best players in the league. To be part of it is excellent.”
On Ben Simmons being Rookie of the Year:
"Definitely, we’re in the playoff race, and his numbers are insane. He’s been helping us a lot. I feel there should be no question he’s the Rookie of the Year."
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) February 19, 2018
On journey taken to become an All-Star:
“It is really special. You guys called me a bust when I missed two years. I worked really hard, went through a lot - missing those two years, losing my brother, I wanted to quit basketball. It was hard. I’m glad I just kept pushing, and now that I’m here, I still got a long way to go. I’m not anywhere close to where I want to get.”
On using social media:
“I am a little bit opposite than Joel [Embiid]l, if you ask about this social media. I know it’s important to be free to fans all over the world, try to talk to them, be available, but I am opposite. I am old school guy. I grew up in part when there wasn’t internet, wasn’t computers, PlayStations, things like that, and I stay something on the side. I like Instagram more than Twitter, and try to share when we got the good win. I don’t like fights on the internet. That’s the famous thing today."
Live: Dario Saric speaks at NBA All-Star 2018 Media Day ahead of Mtn Dew Kickstart Rising Stars Game https://t.co/6e87UPIFU1
— NBA (@NBA) February 16, 2018
On international growth of basketball:
“I think Drazen Petrovic, Vlade Divac, Toni Kukoc, they opened the doors to the European guys, the international guys, to the NBA, to America. Now, you have opportunity. I think European basketball, international basketball really worked hard to get to this point right now. It’s unbelievable. Before 25 years, I cannot imagine this situation, for sure.”
On adjusting to playing with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid this year:
“It was a big change for me. I remember at the beginning of this season, it was really hard for me to try to find a way to score, how to impact the game. After a couple of months, around Christmas, I really figured out how to play with these guys, Ben and Joel. Sometimes, you need to fight for yourself [laughing]. I find a way. I really enjoy playing with them. It’s a really good group of people there. I think everybody find their roles, everybody is happy.”
On Rookie of the Year race:
“I’m focused on my team making the playoffs. All the other accolades and awards, they’ll come in time if I’m doing my job. I’m not an individual type of guy. I watch team games.”
On Joel Embiid’s best skills:
“He’s the People’s Champ, but he’s a great player, skill-wise, unless he misses a couple passes.”
On next player from Rising Stars Game to become an All-Star:
“Hopefully I’m next. We’ll see. It takes a lot of work. It’s a grind, but I’m looking forward to it.”
On influence of mentor LeBron James:
“I think just the way he carries himself as a person, friend, leader. On the court, obviously, he’s a great leader, great player. Off the court, he’s a great person.”
On whether jump shot is making progress:
“Yeah, definitely. I think just taking the shot is progress. My thing is, I’m trying to get the best shot I can, and usually it’s at the rim, every time.”
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) February 17, 2018
On wearing the jersey of the same team that Allen Iverson played for:
“It means a lot. You represent a city, past players, your family, the team, everybody who supports you, you’re representing. Guys like A.I., it’s huge to put on the jersey that he put on, it’s amazing.”