It was Saturday night at 10:09, and I was in the midst of throwing my arm out on the NFL quarterback challenge at the Dave and Buster’s in Plymouth Meeting when a received text message caused my phone to vibrate in my shorts pocket.
“Well man. Something ain’t right about Embiid,” the text read.
A quick scroll-through of my Twitter timeline further clarified the text.
Could be worse, I guess, but still, not the type of text I was hoping to get on a Saturday evening.
We were only weeks away from seeing the centerpiece, and prized possession of the Sixers recent rebuild thus far, Joel Embiid, out on the court in the upcoming Summer League, or so it seemed. Now however, further patience will be required of the Philadelphia faithful.
The report of a setback to Joel Embiid’s already year-long recovery, and a resulting delay in his return to the court isn’t as much shocking -everyone involved knew the risks – as it is disheartening. Embiid is supposed to be the game-changer; the guy who rises to stardom with the Sixers. His addition to the lineup is supposed to signify the start of something special; the reward for the past couple seasons of struggle. It represents a beacon of light for the currently-suffering Sixers fans.
A year after his selection however, Embiid’s aforementioned addition remains shrouded in questions, and doubt. After an initial projected recovery time of eight months, it remains difficult to judge how much closer the center is from actually being able to return. This recent setback extends the period of uncertainty Sixers fans have been entrapped in since last Draft day, when the selection of the big man from Kanas, began providing a lot more questions than answers.
Will Joel develop into an All-Star caliber player, like the franchise needs him to become?
Will he even be able to stay out on the court, or is he doomed for a career-long battle with injury issues?
When can he play?
Those questions all came into play immediately after Joel’s selection by the Sixers last June, and they remain relevant heading into this year’s draft. The answers don’t seem any clearer at this point. The light at the end of the tunnel remains in the distance. Until he is able to go out and play at an NBA-level over the course of a couple seasons, or at least a single season like Nerlens Noel did this year, Embiid remains the team’s, and the League’s largest question mark.
Michael Kaskey-Blomain is a scribe for Philadunkia. You can follow him on Twitter @therealmikeKB.
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