If you search the internet for the phrase “The Process,” you will find a plethora of results. One might take an interest in the psychological thriller novel from Brion Gysin in 1969 titled “The Process.” Another might take an interest in the reggae band hailing from Detroit, Michigan called “The Process.” However, the newest phenomenon sweeping the nation, at least amongst casual and hardcore NBA fans, is Joel “The Process” Embiid.
The 7-foot, 250 pound. 22-year old hailing from Yaoundé, Cameroon was once regarded as a bust. A thought now asinine in hindsight, many thought Joel Embiid would never step foot in a real NBA game. Drafted third overall by the rebuilding (that’s an understatement) Philadelphia 76ers in the 2014 draft, doubts arose surrounding Embiid from the get go. Six days prior to his drafting, Embiid underwent surgery to repair a broken navicular bone in his right foot, subsequently being labeled as “out for four-to-six months.” This was also after he missed the NCAA tournament due to a stress fracture in his back.
This setback did not deter Embiid, who was unable to attend the NBA Draft, in his rehab. After memes had arisen of Embiid’s reaction to being drafted by the 76ers, Embiid was quick to exclaim his contentedness with Philadelphia.
I'm excited the Sixers took me. I still can't believe it. I started playing basketball so late; it just means that anything is possible.
When questions about his health appeared, Embiid was quick to note that through his devotion, he would stay active and rehab strong.
I saw the doctors, and they said I was going to be fine, and unfortunately this foot injury happened a week before the draft. But I believe in God, and God knew what he was doing, I've always said that and I'm going to just keep praising him.
An injury that initially was supposed to take four-to-six months to recover from ended up costing The Process the entirety of the 2014-15 season. Fans were worried that this would be another case of a giant in the NBA being chopped down and hobbled by lingering foot issues. These worries were further cemented by Embiid undergoing a second surgery on the already surgically repaired right foot. The second surgery cost Embiid the potential second season of his NBA career.
With the NBA being a “what have you done for me lately” type of league, many fans and Sixers personnel alike were growing antsy and restless at the potential of Embiid playing. The potential of Embiid never playing in an NBA game seemed larger and larger as the games, and seasons, passed. Fans were growing restless and stir-crazy, sending thousands of tweets Embiid’s way on a weekly basis (such a first-world problem, I know) begging him to step out onto the court unhealthy.
Patience really is a virtue, especially in professional sports. Patience is necessary through processes such as rebuilding and retooling. Not only were the Sixers rebuilding, but Embiid himself was rebuilding as well. It’s not easy for an athlete who only played four years of organized basketball (including one collegiate year) to be set back two entire seasons that he could’ve used to adapt to the NBA-style game and get into game-shape for a grueling NBA schedule.
Embiid, who turns 23 on March 16th, dealt with adversity not even he could’ve expected. Facing overwhelming odds and speculation of retirement before even playing a single NBA game, Embiid’s rebuild was perhaps more tumultuous that the entire Sixers’ organizational rebuild.
Fast forwarding 31 games into his official rookie season and Embiid is making a mark on the league and is showing that he’s a force to be reckoned with. The seemingly endless rebuild that the Sixers were in is now showing a huge, promising light at the end of the tunnel. The Process nearly made the Eastern Conference All-Star team in his rookie season. That in-it-of-itself speaks high volumes for the potential Embiid has in the league.
|Per 36||28.7||46.6 (36.7)||11.1||3.0||1.2||3.5|
The Process is definitely a future star in the league. So long as health is in check constantly, the sky is the limit for Embiid. The league is always about hot-takes, making way-too-early predictions about teams, players, awards, executives, and anything in between. So, here’s a hot-take for you: Joel “The Process” Embiid is going to be the NBA’s next megastar. The multitude of reasons explains themselves.
He is a big man, something that seems like a dying breed in the NBA, where the big names have been LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Kawhi Leonard, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden, among others. See a recurring theme there? No big men. However, there is currently a big man renaissance going on in the NBA with a bunch of young up-and-comers. The lot is arguably headlined by The Process, whose play is electrifying to the fans and the league itself. His play is speaking for itself, exuding incredible numbers for a rookie who missed two seasons due to injury.
Of the young guys and collegiate athletes that have come into the league over the past three to four years, Embiid is by far the most marketable, as he is a true marketer’s dream. An athlete who is incredibly self-aware can rake in millions for advertisers, companies, and the league itself. Look at LeBron James’ Sprite commercials, but imagine if they were actually funny. They are cringeworthy, but they work because of James’ personality.
The Process' personality is something that the league can benefit greatly from. Embiid doesn’t hold back, utilizing his Twitter to make jabs at the recent election (and allocating it to a process), channeling his inner Triple H (cue up the Motorhead), and even getting the president to tweet about voting him into the All-Star game (well, kind of?). He is incredibly self-aware, has an extremely marketable personality with a great look, and his play has spoken for itself through the first 31 games.
The NBA can turn Embiid into the next megastar. Clothing brands, shoe endorsements, and various other companies will be chomping at the bits to sign Embiid to a lucrative deal if his career keeps on the track it appears to be heading. You can bet your bottom dollar that Embiid’s personality will attract many, many offers, especially if his play just keeps improving. He has, after all, only played 31 games in the NBA. His play his gotten Philadelphia to start thinking about the playoffs again. When was the last time you associated “playoffs” with “Philadelphia?”
Embiid has the utmost potential to become the NBA’s next megastar, the face of the new generation in the NBA. Leading a big-man renaissance, The Process is carving his own path down a potential road to glory; blazing trails, kicking ass, and letting his play do the talking on the court while he gains more and more fans daily through his interactions off the court. It is probably too early, but it will be stated anyway: Joel “The Process” Embiid has the potential to be the NBA’s next megastar. He has all of the tools to make it happen. It will occur in time, I believe. When it does come to fruition, the NBA must capitalize on his personality and his self-awareness to turn him into marketing gold, as the NBA would benefit greatly from marketing an athlete the likes of Embiid (some pro-leagues don’t have many marketable athletes; i.e. the MLB).