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Joel Embiid Says He Learned How to Shoot by ‘Watching Regular White People’
Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid, who is finally healthy, clearly has no filter and is very candid about what he speaks about. And 99.9% of the time, it’s hilarious.
Drafted in the first round in 2014, Embiid hasn’t played a single regular season game yet for the 76ers, but that will all change when he hits the floor on Wednesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Cameroonian born seven-footer recently sat down with Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated and shared his journey to the NBA up until this point, dealing with injuries, and how he got his shooting form.
“You know how I learned to shoot?” Embiid says. “I watched white people. Just regular white people. They really put their elbow in and finish up top. You can find videos of them online.”
Embiid’s story is pretty remarkable when you realize he never took any interest in playing basketball until he was 16 years old and he watched the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant in the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics.
“How he didn’t play basketball until 2010, when he caught an intoxicating glimpse of Kobe Bryant in the Finals against the Celtics. How he shot volleyballs into the rim at his high school, but was too embarrassed to try out for a local camp held by NBA forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. How his coach registered him anyway, prompting a scholarship offer from Montverde Academy in Florida, where as a junior he languished on JV. Even when Embiid signed with Kansas, he asked to be redshirted because Jayhawks kept dunking on him in pick-up games, and even when scouts slotted him ahead of prodigal teammate Andrew Wiggins, he told them he was not ready for the pros. But he was the presumptive No. 1 pick, and after he broke his foot during a pre-draft training session, the 76ers still took him third without so much as meeting him.”