HELL TO THE YES. This is the best news ever. After a week of fighting in the NBA, this was a perfect cure for everything that ails the sport.
There are so many different layers to Joel Embiid being a starter in the All-Star game and why it is so awesome. Starting with Brett Brown’s description of it: “Like somebody just gave one of your children a star and put it on his paper.”
Truth. Seeing Joel as an All-Star makes me feel like one of my kids is an all-star.
And then there’s the fact that nobody is happier to be an All-Star than Embiid. Now that he’s in the game, it just became appointment television, which is exactly why he needed to be in the game. Not just because he’s great, he is, but because he’s great for the game. You aren’t going to tell him that this is a meaningless exhibition. I know that it’s going to mean an enormous amount to DeMar to be a starter back home in LA, but even his joy is eclipsed by Embiid’s. And by my joy at Embiid’s joy.
Take a step back. Joel Embiid didn’t play his first two seasons in the NBA. Injuries limited him to 31 games last season. He’s still not 100 percent and yet he’s an All-Star. And he’s not a charity case, he completely earned it. And if you ask him, he earned it last year, too.
As he said, “I think this is validation not only for me, but for the whole organization especially after what we have been through for the last four years. So I’m not excited about myself. I’m excited for the whole city of Philadelphia and the fans worldwide.”
And I’m just excited for everyone about everything after this. Why? Because of what Joel did after he heard the news: he went out and went off for 26 points, 16 rebounds, and 6 assists against the Celtics. He was the one beautiful thing in an otherwise hideous game.
But what he did during the game was nothing compared to what he did after it.
And to truly appreciate that, let’s spin the clock back to this legendary tweet from August 2014:
“This is the truth… I was trying to get with this famous girl and she said ” Come back when you’re an All Star” bruhh”
And this famous girl is none other than Rihanna, so after last night’s win in Boston, Joel, the freshly minted All-Star, was asked if he had anything he’d like to say: “She denied me back then; there’s no reason to go back to her,” Embiid said. “So I gotta move on to the next one. There’s a lot of pretty women out there, and I’m beautiful, so I gotta move on to the next one.”
TRUST THE FREAKING PROCESS.
What a beauty. Life was already better with Joel Embiid in the NBA, but if this is what life is like with Joel Embiid in the All-Star Game, then look the hell out. Nobody does that to RiRi. Well, nobody until Joel Embiid, NBA All-Star, did that to RiRi. Dropped 26, 16, and 6 on the Celtics and then dropped a mic on Rihanna. Well played, Big Man. Well played. Trust the process, Bab. Trust. The. Process.