This kind of record—still winless—should have sent the Philly faithful scratching its collective head. But in reality, an air of optimism fills the City of Brotherly Love, mainly because of plays like this:
Looks eerily familiar, doesn't it?
After missing his first two seasons due to injury, rookie center Joel Embiid is more than impressing hoops fans, all the more making former Sixers president and GM Sam Hinkie look like a genius.
And the third overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft has been flashing his wares in the uncanny likeness of a certain NBA legend.
"When I started playing basketball, my coach back in Cameroon the first day he gave me a video of Hakeem Olajuwon. He told me to watch it every day. After practice, after every practice, I'd watch every move he did—and I'd just keep doing that. I just fell in love with his game, his footwork, how he moves," Embiid told Sporting News in a previous interview.
Olajuwon, as every basketball aficionado knows, is one of the best big men to ever walk the court. Finesse personified, the man known as 'The Dream' outmaneuvered other great pivots of his generation, the likes of Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, and even Shaquille O'Neal, on his way to a Most Valuable Player award (1994), two championships (1994, 1995), and a Hall of Fame career.
By the looks of things, Embiid has taken to heart all those mixtapes, with Olajuwon's graceful post moves at the forefront of the JoJo Show.
Case in point: Detroit Pistons' center Boban Marjanovic—all 7'3" of him—was the first to fall victim to the deadly fake.
And like Hakeem, Joel is a multi-faceted specimen, complementing his back-to-the-basket proficiency with impeccable defense—currently second in blocks with 2.6 per game—and sweet outside shooting.
The defending champions Cleveland Cavaliers learned it the hard way. The lowly Sixers gave LeBron James and Co. quite the scare during their first meeting, led by a mighty statline from Embiid: 22 points (on FOUR three-pointers), six rebounds, and four blocks, including a recognizable denial on the King.
We seriously can't wait for The Dream to take 'The Process' under his wing.