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Trust the Process: Joel Embiid makes NBA debut

On Wednesday night, the Wells Fargo Center erupted in cheers as Philadelphia 76ers fans heard Joel Embiid’s name announced during pre-game introductions for the first time before a regular season game.

This was a long time coming for the 2014 No. 3 overall pick, who missed his first two seasons due to breaking his navicular bone in his right foot and having surgery on the same foot the following year.

“As athletes, we can’t control it,” Embiid said to Marc Spears of The Undefeated. “Having fans and everybody in your ear talking about, ‘You haven’t played a game.’ or, ‘You’re always hurt and other stuff. It was hard.

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“Just getting to the league and being the No. 3 pick, I felt I had a chip on my shoulder. For people to just bash me because I was hurt and not being able to play. I wasn’t able to show them what I could do.” 

The 7-footer got his chance to shut up the naysayers against the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder.

The rookie center had a team-high 20 points on the night. He knocked down his last two points with a fadeaway jumper, tying the game at 97 with 50 seconds left on the clock.

Russell Westbrook recorded a near triple-double helping the Thunder seal a 103-97 victory over Philadelphia, but it was Embiid who stole the show.

How could Sixers fans not be excited after a performance like that? Once Ben Simmons returns from his injury, this team could get scary good…really fast.

In the meantime, can Embiid help the Sixers, last season’s worst team in the NBA, to a playoff bid? Can he be the next great big man in the league? Only time will tell. But, he’s looking pretty good right now.

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