Before playing a game, Joel Embiid already a star

Before playing a game, Joel Embiid already a star
August 3, 2014, 5:15 pm

The Sixers' top draft selection from 2014 is a colorful character.

Joel Embiid on Sunday was available for an interview via satellite from Tarrytown, New York.

Embiid, along with 37 other rookies, took part in a photo shoot that will produce their rookie trading cards.

Before heading to New York, the No. 3 overall pick stopped in his future hometown Thursday and Friday.

Despite it being Embiid's first visit to Philadelphia, the organization did not formally introduce him to the city or Sixers' fans, but the 7-foot center posted plenty of tweets reflecting his stay in the City of Brotherly Love.

"I wasn't expecting the city to be like that," Embiid said of his visit. "I was expecting it to be like Cleveland or Milwaukee, but it was way better. I got my first cheesesteak. I was visiting and it was great."

Embiid is still wearing a cast on his surgically repaired right foot. The surgery was done in June to repair a fractured navicular bone. His doctor expects to remove the cast in two weeks followed by a long rehabilitation process.

While sidelined, the Cameroon native provides plenty of entertainment.

On Twitter, we have learned the 20-year-old has affection for Kim Kardashian as well as Rihanna. But before Embiid revealed his celebrity crushes, he attempted to recruit LeBron James to Philadelphia via a tweet.

For the good of others, landing LeBron was Embiid's top priority.

"I say LeBron because he would give us a better chance to win a championship," Embiid explained when asked which of his three celebrity tweets he wanted to come true the most.

"But if I am selfish I say maybe one of those girls. But again, I would say LeBron if we want to win the championship."

The former Kansas standout is well aware Sixers' fans desire to win a championship, an achievement that has eluded them for more than three decades.

Speaking of championships, Embiid went on a Philadelphia shopping spree that brought himself closer to players who have won NBA titles in the past.

"I bought lots of jerseys," Embiid said, after shopping at the well known Mitchell and Ness store in Center City East. "I got Dr. J (Julius Erving), Allen Iverson, Hakeem (Olajuwon), Tim Duncan, David Robinson, Shaq. I got all those jerseys of the great [NBA] big men."

Embiid is a man who likes hoops, fashion, pop culture as well as surprising folks with his diversity.

Again, it was his Twitter account (@joelembiid) that revealed the depths of his talents when last week he posted his tweets in French.

"I miss speaking French because there is no one around to speak French with," Embiid said. (French is his first language so maybe his tweeting in English should have been what impressed.)

"I just figured I will start tweeting in French and the French people back in France and those who speak French and follow me on Twitter loved it. They were excited. I think it was pretty good."

Everything Joel Embiid has done since being drafted by the Sixers has been pretty good — and that is without him even stepping on the hardwood.

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