Latest posts by Ashish Mathur (see all)
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Philadelphia 76ers star big man Joel Embiid is the King of NBA Twitter and tweeted multiple times this past season that LeBron James should sign with Philly to create a lethal Big Three featuring him, James and Ben Simmons.
James, who signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, admitted Tuesday that he thought about signing with the Sixers, but ultimately chose the Lakers due to their history and the exciting challenge of getting the franchise back to prominence.
The Sixers were not only trying to get James, but were also pursuing a trade for Kawhi Leonard and had free agent Paul George as a target as well. Leonard was traded to the Toronto Raptors, while George re-signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Despite the Sixers striking out with their top three summer targets, Embiid says he doesn’t care and wants to be better than all three.
“When my season ended, there was a lot of talk about adding guys,” Embiid said on a conference call from Africa, where he is playing in the NBA Africa Game. “I literally did not really care because I want to get better. I want to be better than those guys that were mentioned, if I’m not already better than them.”
Embiid was finally healthy in 2017-18. The 24-year-old played in 63 games and didn’t disappoint, averaging 22.9 points and 11.0 rebounds while shooting 48.3 percent from the field and 30.8 percent from three.
The 7-footer made the All-Star team, helped the Sixers clinch the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference and advance to the second-round of the playoffs, and was also in the running for Defensive Player of the Year.
This is the first summer Embiid is not coming off surgery and can work on his game. As a result, Embiid has high expectations for next season.
“I want to win the MVP,” Embiid said. “I feel like at the end of the day it might be an individual award, but when I play better, the team also does. I feel like if I’m an MVP candidate or if I win the MVP, that means we are on another level.”