Trust the process: Sixers’ Embiid flashes at ASG

Joel Embiid, shown trying to trap Russell Westbrook along with Draymond Green, broke through and thoroughly enjoyed his All-Star Game debut Sunday night in LA.

While LeBron James (of course) stole the show, winning Most Valuable Player honors for a third time, one of the brightest stars at the NBA All-Star Game was Joel Embiid.

The Philadelphia 76ers center had 19 points, eight rebounds, one assist, one steal and two blocked shots in 20 minutes while playing for Team Stephen, which came out on the short end of a spirited 148-145 verdict on Sunday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Despite playing the fewest minutes of any member of Team Stephen’s starting lineup, Embiid’s impact was unmistakeable.

The University of Kansas product made 8-of-14 shots from the floor, including 2-of-4 from beyond the 3-point line, and perhaps most impressively, didn’t back down from a single challenge.

His made 3-pointer, then rejection of a Russell Westbrook drive to the rack and then grabbing the rebound after the block in the same sequence showed just how much Embiid can impact the game on both ends of the floor.

Embiid said he thought about staring down Westbrook after the block, as the league’s reigning MVP did to him during the waning seconds of a hotly contested game between Philadelphia and Oklahoma City two weeks ago, but thought better of it.

He admitted he had a blast playing in his first All-Star Game.

Embiid was also comfortable enough in his own skin to admit he had some pregame butterflies, while first describing his favorite moment in the game.

He took to his own Twitter account later Sunday night to express his appreciation for his All-Star debut, and “not to troll,” for which he has been known, as his Twitter game is already regarded as one of the best in the league.