Despite being the most dominant big man in the NBA, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid is a 7-footer no more – at least without his shoes on.
Joel Embiid is the best big man in the NBA.
That’s right, despite being the third player selected in the 2014 NBA Draft – behind current heavyweights like Jabari Parker and his Kansas college teammate Andrew Wiggins – Embiid has steadily risen up the NBA ranks after making his Philadelphia 76ers debut in 2016 – making two All-Star game starts before his 25th birthday.
However, a decisive new NBA rule may have inadvertently taken away the very thing that makes Embiid the best big man in the league: his status as a 7-footer.
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Casually dubbed the ‘Buddy Hield Rule‘ after the current King‘s age was misreported for the duration of his professional career (more on that here, it’s pretty wild), NBA clubs are now required to submit official ages and heights of their players for the official records – and unlike previous measurements, these are without shoes.
Now sure, technically it doesn’t make a ton of sense to measure players without their shoes on since they, you know, play basketball while exclusively wearing shoes, but still, if these numbers become the new standard across the industry, the 76ers will all but surely enter the regular season without a legitimate 7-footer on their active roster.
And for Embiid, he’s not just another 6-foot chump.
Granted, we don’t know how exactly the 76ers brass took these measurements, as Embiid’s hair alone should account for a couple of inches, but still, to remove a center’s status as a seven-footer is almost as offensive as correctly diagnosing a point guard as sub-6-foot; it’s just cruel and unusual punishment.
Furthermore, under these new topsy-turvy measurements, point guard Ben Simmons has become the 76ers’ second tallest player, above now 6-foot-7.75 small forward Tobias Harris and 6-foot-9.25 power forward Al Horford. To be fair, those shrinkages aren’t as bad as that of Draymond Green, the Golden State Warriors‘ small-ball center whose height dropped from 6-foot-7 to 6-foot-5, but still, this new NBA is pretty nuts.
So now a 7-footer in reputation (and shoes) only, how will Embiid’s adjusted height affect his prospects going into this his senior NBA season? Short answer, it won’t.
All jokes aside – and believe me, fans will have a whole lot of fun when at the NBA’s expense when Embiid towers over every other player not named Tacko Fall – Embiid isn’t suddenly a power forward because of a quarter-inch (about the size of an M&M). He’s still going to bully opponents with his back to the basket, body opposing bigs in the paint, and shoot a few too many 3 pointers for fans’ tastes.
He is Joel Embiid after all.
And hey, maybe the Philadelphia 76ers’ center should be happy that the NBA isn’t rechecking players’ weights, because even after losing a reported 20 pounds over the summer, listing the Cameroonian big man at 250 pounds feels incredibly generous.
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