Joel Embiid: The Process

76ers center Joel Embiid will have left knee surgery in the coming days.


Embiid has been sidelined with a torn meniscus and a bone bruise in his knee since Jan. 27. The team announced on March 1 that he would miss the rest of the season. Since that time, he has been expected to have surgery. Embiid consulted with doctors about his meniscus tear while in California earlier this month.

“I think it’s going according to plan,” coach Brett Brown said.


The Sixers would not disclose the date, hospital, or type of meniscus surgery Embiid will have. Brown would not say if the rookie would return by the start of next season. 


Not Ideal. Trust the Process. But, not ideal.

Joel Embiid missed the first two full seasons on his NBA career with injuries. This year was the first year since I saw Joel Embiid play in a game since he injured his back in a game at Oklahoma State in March 2014. Never did I know, I would have to wait more than 2 years to watch him play a basketball game again.

Embiid was an emerging star at Kansas. He was not supposed to develop as quickly as he did. Embiid earned these honors during his Freshman year and only year at Kansas.

  • Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year (2014)
  • Second-team All-Big 12 (2014)
  • Big 12 All-Defensive Team (2014)
  • Big 12 All-Newcomer Team (2014)


But the injury to his back ended his season.

Embiid was drafted number 3 overall in the 2014 draft behind Kansas teammate Andrew Wiggins and Duke standout Jabari Parker. However, the 76ers knew it was a risk.

6 days before the draft, Embiid had surgery on a broken navicular bone in his right foot, basically ending his rookie season.

Embiid was ready to make his NBA Debutduring the 2015-2016, but more tragedy struck on Embiid. Embiid suffered a setback on his foot, required another surgery, and was ruled out for the entire season.

Embiid has spent his first 2 NBA seasons on the bench because of injury.

The prospect being compared to Hakeem Olajuwon was not getting a chance to prove it. After dominating his lone season in college, Embiid was supposed to revolutionize the center position in the NBA.

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My jaw dropped when I watched this live. I said to myself, “My God, he is going to dominate the NBA. No one can defend that.”

Injuries kept him from doing that.

But if anybody knows JoJo, or watches him play, or follow any of his social media accounts, you know how much fun he has and how much love he has in his heart. Embiid never got discouraged. So what did he do?

He coined the phrase from former 76ers GM and the person who drafted him Sam Hinkie used.

“Trust the Process”

Embiid knew he was going to play in the NBA, and not only play, but dominate.

Embiid recovered very successfully after his second foot surgery. Embiid started the 2016-2017 regular season healthy, determined, ready to go.

He was Trusting the Process. And the Process was a Trusting one.

In his first NBA season, Embiid played in 31 games, averaged 20.2 Points Per Game, 7.8 Rebounds per game, 2.5 Blocks per game, and 2.1 Assists per game, in only 25 minutes. Embiid was dominating the NBA.

Every time I checked the 76ers box score, it would be another double-double after another double-double. Embiid was going to win unanimous Rookie of the Year, he was names Eastern Conference player of the week, anmes to the rising stars team during All-Star break and only fell a few votes short of going to the All-Star game.

Embiid even helped turn the 76ers into a respectable team. After miserable, miserable years, the 76ers were winning game, and actually competing for the 8 seed in the East.

And then tragedy struck again. It was discovered that Embiid tore his meniscus, and at first it didn’t seem like he needed surgery, Embiid is going under the knife again.

Not ideal. Because when Embiid is at his best, the NBA is a better league. When Embiid is healthy he is already a top 3 center in the league. That’s how good he is.

Now, the meniscus shouldn’t be as a big deal as the other injuries, and he should be ready to go before the start of the season.

But I’ve been watching this 7’1″ goofy, fun-loving, guy play basketball for years now. I know this is nothing for him. By the time he is fully healthy next year, he is going to dominate the NBA, but not just for 31 games, but an entire season.

The NBA should be scared how good Embiid is going to be. He has already showed glimpses on how he is going to be a perennial All-Star and future MVP of this league.

Trust the Process. Embiid is going to be healthier and better than ever.

Trust. The. Process. 

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