June 7, 2023

Trust The Process — Joel Embiid Wins 2022-23 NBA MVP


Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid reacts after the 76ers won an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Friday, March 10, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Joel Embiid has been awarded the 2022-23 NBA Most Valuable Player Award. An award that is long overdue, but an award that means so much.

Before he was drafted in the NBA or even knew what basketball was, he was just a talented athlete from Cameroon. Embiid was born on March 16th, 1994 in Yaoundé Cameroon. Embiid was a gifted athlete growing up, playing both volleyball and soccer. But his life changed forever when he attended a basketball camp, and he met Luc Mbah a Moute, who was an NBA player from Cameroon. Mbah a Moute mentored Embiid, and eventually, Embiid moved to the United States with the dream of becoming an NBA player.

While Embiid was in High School he had a lot to learn. Embiid credits his basketball shooting development to his binging of “white guys shooting 3’s” youtube videos. There is a viral video of Embiid while playing JV basketball driving past the basket, and then just throwing the ball up. While hilarious, it just shows how far Embiid has come in such a short time. Most people will pick up a basketball at 5 years old, and play throughout their childhood. Embiid did not touch a basketball until he was 16 years old and was one of the best players in the country in just two years.

After transferring to The Rock School Embiid became a 5-star recruit eventually committing to Kansas.

While at Kansas Embiid averaged 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks per game. He was named BIG 12 defensive player of the year and was a finalist for the Naismith Player of the Year award. While he was a good college player, I do not know if anyone saw this coming.

On June 26th, 2014 with the 3rd pick in the NBA draft the Philadelphia 76ers selected Joel Embiid. Embiid was coming off a foot injury that was thought to sideline him for the first 6 months of his career. Unfortunately for Embiid, and Sixers fans he would miss the first two seasons of his NBA career because of this injury. Naturally, the criticism came at Embiid, with most labeling him a bust before he even stepped on the court. Oh, how dumb do they look now?

While battling his foot injury after being drafted, Embiid got the devastating news that his younger brother Arthur had tragically passed away in a car crash. This news obviously wrecked Embiid, and he thought about retiring from basketball. Embiid ultimately decided to stick with basketball, but he has said many times he was very close to quitting. Joel and his fiancée Anne De Paula named their son Arthur after Joel’s brother.

When Embiid finally hit the court it made every day waiting worth it. From his first career basket, we knew we had something special. He moved like no other Center we had seen before, and suddenly a fanbase that had been hopeless for years had hope.

While his rookie year was shortened by injury, the city of Philadelphia knew we had a superstar on our hands. Unfortunately, injuries have been a common theme so far in Embiid’s time in the NBA, but he keeps fighting through them. Embiid has developed into one of the best big men in NBA history, and this award solidifies that.

This award shows that every time he has gone down, and gotten back up, it’s been worth it. Sticking with basketball while working through the loss of his brother, has been worth it. Coming to the United States has been worth it. Sticking through the process has been worth it.

After being the runner-up for the award the last two seasons, he finally got his respect. Embiid is now a 6-time All-Star, a two-time Scoring Champion, and now an NBA MVP.

Congratulations Joel, you deserve it.

2 thoughts on “Trust The Process — Joel Embiid Wins 2022-23 NBA MVP

  1. This is such an inspiring story of how Joel Embiid pursued his dream of becoming an NBA player and ultimately being awarded 2022-23 NBA MVP. It’s amazing how he didn’t start playing basketball until he was 16 and through hard work and determination, he became one of the best big men in NBA history. I am curious, how did Embiid handle the criticism when he was labeled a bust before even stepping on the court and how did he overcome the injuries that have plagued him throughout his career?

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