Joel Embiid is one of the best Centers in the game. At 7ft tall he is imposing, and literally personifies the Philadelphia 76ers culture and identity of “Trust the Process,” probably more than any other of the team’s roster.
Former 76ers General Manager Sam Hinckie said that as a franchise they talk about the process – as opposed to the outcome – and attempt to take all of the best info they can, consistently, and make good decisions.
It doesn’t always work, but the point is seeing the bigger picture and by evaluating and re-evaluating, that process enables them to improve, evolve and become more successful each time. If you don’t have a blueprint, a plan, a process, how do you reach that end goal?
Living The Process Born to parents Thomas and Christine in Cameroon’s capital of Yaounde, Joel Embiid seems always to have been building up to his now famous tweet of “I am The Process.”
But the Process is forever ongoing and the fact that nothing is ever absolute, finite or finished – there is always a new season, a new way of refining or cultivating talents to get them to where you want them to be.
Embiid had the 76ers faithful right in the palm of his huge hands when he said: “I think sometimes people just don’t understand ‘The Process,’ and its true definition.”
“It’s an ongoing thing and after I finish playing – whenever that will be – it will be down to the next group of players on the roster to continue it and to make sure that they exemplify, epitomize and represent what the 76ers franchise is known for.”
The fact that his own debut for Philly was delayed by two years due to injury setbacks to his knee and foot, shows that he believed the blueprint in place not only for the team, but for his own personal development.
Many fans and critics may have been wondering why Embiid was their priority pick in the NBA Draft when they were without him for well over 160 games. But their thoughts were to prove misguided because he has proved a shrewd choice.
Such was his quality and influence that despite playing less than half of his debut season, he was rewarded with five All-Star selections, in addition to the NBA All-Rookie First Team honor.
If you aren’t looking to improve, recover or redeem yourself, then why are you in any profession?
The Pressure Of Expectations The fact that Embiid is seen as the main player symbolizing the work ethic and make-up of the 76ers, sometimes means he is unfairly singled out when things don’t go to plan.
This is something which doesn’t go unnoticed by the power-forward as he commented on the fact that it takes more than just an individual performing at their peak, for the group to succeed:
“If I feel that I haven’t played to the best of my ability on any given day, I will always look to analyze the reasons why and make sure that I make amends for that time. But it isn’t always down to me for a defeat.”
“That being said, it’s never down to any of the other players alone, either. That’s the whole point that a team exists, and I know personally that a lot of players always strive to improve every facet of their game.”
“We’re talking about careers, professional players, about pride, self-preservation and survival. If you aren’t looking to improve, recover or redeem yourself, then why are you in any profession?”
If I feel that I haven’t played to the best of my ability on any given day, I will always look to analyze the reasons why…
Embiid combines humility, with the ‘athlete standard’ will to win. It’s his self-analysis, awareness and attentiveness to the reasons behind roadblocks, to progress, which are key.
When he gets the impression he hasn’t reached the extraordinarily high standards that he sets for himself, he immediately takes stock and offers recompense – that’s the only way he feels he can bounce back.
Paying It Forward Embiid knows he has caught some breaks in his life, and donating hundreds of thousands of dollars for worthy causes is one way he keeps himself grounded, including to Penn medicine for Critical Support of Health Care Workers Fighting COVID-19, #FirstRespondersFirst and UNICEF.
“We all know that as professionals of such a successful organization and the beneficiaries of salaries that many working-class people are not afforded, we should all give back,” he says.
“I’ve always experienced the love and support from the people of Pennsylvania – regardless of our results and season performances, and for that I will forever be grateful. So, this is my way of repaying that faith and backing, as well as commitment to humanity.”