Courtesy of Slam
SLAM: How is training with Drew Hanlen different?
Joel Embiid: He’s a little bit different. You know, I’ve always wanted to play like a guard. And that’s what he is. And that’s what he teaches us—me and the other guys. And I’ve been enjoying it. He’s mainly about footwork.
SLAM: Why is it that you’ve always wanted to play like a guard?
JE: I just like the way they play. They shoot the ball better than big men. They handle the ball. They have the ball in their hands all the time.
SLAM: Can you talk about the season in general? Obviously it’s been a big breakout for you.
JE: Man, it’s been great. I’ve been doing okay.
SLAM: Just okay?
JE: [Laughs] I guess. But you know, the season has been going great and the team is starting to come together and win games.
SLAM: You guys have probably exceeded expectations. Why do you think that is?
JE: We got a great group of guys. We got some vets that were added to the team this year and it’s been going well. We love playing together, sharing the ball. That’s the main thing. We want to kind of form like the Spurs, what they’re doing over there. It’s about sharing the ball and playing for each other.
SLAM: Can you tell me about the balance between wanting to win now and waiting to improve the team further?
JE: The past few years that I missed, we were pretty bad. It kind of affected me, but because I wasn’t on the court and I was focused more on my rehab, it affected me but not like how it should’ve affected me. And this year coming in, I just told myself I’m not going to go through the losing we’ve been through the past two, three years. So I’m going to do whatever I can as far as making hustle plays, and just making plays and making sure my teammates come together and play together. And I think it’s changing. You know, we added a couple guys, we’re still waiting on Ben [Simmons]. Everybody’s coming along nicely and we keep getting better. And we have a chance to make the playoffs, and if we don’t, next year that’s going to be our goal.
SLAM: As you mentioned, Ben is working his way back. What do you anticipate from him when he returns?
JE: The past two weeks, I’ve been in Philly with him because I had to have rehab, too. And he’s been in the gym everyday working on his stuff, especially his shot. Getting on the court. Getting his work in and lifting. So, he’s coming along. I don’t know exactly where he’s at, but just seeing him…he looks great.
SLAM: You’ve become a social media legend. What’s that like?
JE: I’m a fun guy and I love having fun. I’m just trying to enjoy myself and whatever I can do to have fun, that’s what I’m going to do. And you can tell that by my social media. And whatever I’ve been doing off the court.
SLAM: Are you going to be seeing Rihanna this weekend?
JE: If she comes…
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