Joel Embiid revealed how Spurs legend Tim Duncan was one of his role models and also the reason behind the Sixers star choosing to wear the jersey number 21.
Joel Embiid is a megastar in today’s league. The Sixers big man is one of the most dominant and gifted big men the league has ever witnessed. Standing at 7-feet tall, weighing almost 280-pounds, JoJo is a force to reckon with in the paint. And because of his versatility, Embiid is able to pass, shoot, dribble the rock like a guard while getting buckets at his own will. And at the same time, is one of the toughest defenders for the opponent to score on.
Definitely, there must be millions around the world who look up to the Cameroonian as their role model. And with all credits to him, why not? The 27-year-old has stuck to what he’s been preaching since day 1 – “trust the process”, and is now a 4-time All-Star, 3 All-NBA player, just signed a massive $196 million supermax contract extension, and is a huge reason why today’s game has been more position-less than ever.
However, for JoJo himself, San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan was one of the players he aspired to be like. Widely considered as one of the best power forwards of all time, Joel was one of many who grew up idolising Duncan. And, back in 2016, when Tim announced his retirement, Embiid revealed how the Spurs legend was the reason he wore the jersey number 21.
“One of my role models. I wear #21 because of Tim Duncan”: Joel Embiid
While congratulating Duncan for announcing his retirement after an illustrious 19-year career, the Philly star also explained how “The Big Fundamental” was the reason behind Joel choosing to wear jersey number #21. Embiid took to his Twitter:
“CONGRATULATIONS to TIM DUNCAN on a GREAT and SUCCESSFUL career… One of my role models. I wear #21 because of him #TheBigFundamental”
CONGRATULATIONS to TIM DUNCAN on a GREAT and SUCCESSFUL career… One of my role models. I wear #21 because of him #TheBigFundamental
— Joel “Troel” Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) July 11, 2016
Wearing #21 for almost two decades, Tim Duncan really popularized the number among big men in today’s league. Getting selected to 15 All-Star Games, 15 All-NBA teams, winning 2 MVPs, 5 Championships and 3 Finals MVPs, Duncan had a highly decorated career wearing that number.
So far, Joel Embiid has been successfully living up to the #21 legacy. The Philly center is coming off his best season, and now averages 21 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.8 assists while hoping to lead the 76ers to their 4th NBA title.