Joel Embiid has been hitting the gym - preparing for an unknown future with championship aspirations still top of mind.
Following a recent workout, he described his life during the hiatus - from sweat, to documentaries, to video games.
Here’s some of what was said…
Early in the hiatus, Embiid pledged $500,000 to COVID-19 relief and research efforts. Embiid thought it was important to give back:
“Being where I’m from, the way I grew up, I saw a lot of struggle. Being in my position, where I have the power to change people’s lives, and to help people, it’s just me. I didn’t even have to think twice about it. That’s the way my parents raised me, that’s the way I was brought up. Add in the fact that growing up in Africa, in Cameroon, all the struggle that I saw - it’s only right for me to make that kind of gesture… I want to keep doing it, and help as many people as I can.”
The big man’s training routine has ramped up lately, as he prepares himself for a potential return to play:
“We’ve been going at it for the past four weeks, about six times a week, just trying to get a head start, and get ready for whatever’s coming. I have something to prove, and I feel like whenever that opportunity comes, it’s going to be my time.”
The All-Star will aim to capitalize on the momentum he was building prior to the hiatus:
“I felt like before the season got shut down, I was on that path. Especially after that All-Star game, my mentality completely changed. First part of the season wasn’t up to my standard, not even close. I was on that path of changing it all, go out, and make it happen.”
Away from the court, Embiid is still a passionate FIFA video game player, and has been in touch with his teammates:
“We have a group chat. I think it was Tobias who started it, and then we just rolled with it - that’s how we keep in touch.”
Like millions of basketball fans across the country, Embiid had a formative experience watching The Last Dance documentary on ESPN:
“I did watch it. It was interesting. I saw a lot of similarities, and a lot of people have told me that. I’m always quiet about it, but I kind of saw that there’s a lot of similarities, and I can also be that guy. I just need to keep putting in the work, and that’s what I’ve been doing. It was a great documentary and I enjoyed it.”
Embiid signed off to a message to his fans:
“First of all, I want everybody to remain safe. I want to be safe. This is nothing to play with - you don’t know what can happen. But when the time is right, and everything is safe, and I can be on the court, what I’m missing the most is being out there, winning for the City of Philadelphia, representing the City of Philadelphia, and then just going out there and dominating.”
Check back into sixers.com to post up with more of the 76ers as the hiatus continues.