NBA

Joel Embiid.

Joel Embiid admits he wanted to quit basketball during two-year injury nightmare

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Joel Embiid endured a tough introduction to life in the NBA as he was unable to play in his first two years due to injury after being selected by the Philadelphia 76ers in 2014.

The Sixers drafted him with the number three overall pick and believed that they had a real talent on their hands.

But they had to remain patient as he suffered a broken foot that kept him out for two whole seasons.

His health was becoming a huge concern and there were many questioning whether the big man's body could handle the rigours of the league.

In an interview with CBS Sports, Embiid revealed that it took a mental toll on him which almost forced him to make a huge decision.

"I wanted to quit basketball," Embiid said. "Just not being able to play the game I loved, the game I was passionate about -- I just wanted to quit basketball and go home and forget everything."

Thankfully for the Sixers, he chose not to and that decision is proving to be the right one as he's now established himself as a superstar player.

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics

The patience the 76ers had is being rewarded as he's helped to turn them into genuine playoff contenders this year.

Since regaining full health, the center has enjoyed a meteoric rise which will culminate in him featuring in his first All-Star game in just his second season.

Having taken part in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday, the 23-year-old is the first player to play in both games since Anthony Davis in 2014.

He wouldn't be benefiting from all of this had he quit the game that has made him a rich man.

"I'm glad I didn't," he said.

Philly had faith that he would develop into a dominant force and that's exactly what he's been this campaign.

He's averaging 23.7 points 11.1 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game.
Most importantly, he's played in 44 of Philadelphia's 55 games, averaging 31.4 minutes.

The Cameroonian is no longer on a minutes' restriction and will soon be able to play in back-to-backs.

2018 Mountain Dew Kickstart Rising Stars Game

'The Process' has come a long way from his first two years where he suffered injury hell and he's savouring his All-Star experience more than most.

"Especially thinking about where I came from, then missing my first two years, everyone calling me a bust, saying all this stuff about me -- it's so much more sweeter to actually be here now with all the All-Stars," Embiid said.

"I just want to go out there and just have fun because you never know when it's going to be taken away from you."

He certainly deserves to be among the league's elite players in L.A. and we can definitely expect him to put on a show for the fans as he celebrates his big night.

Topics:
NBA
Allen Iverson
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference
Joel Embiid
Philadelphia 76ers

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