It always felt like Allen Iverson was made for Philadelphia. Sure, he was mercurial and not everyone loved him, but Philly did. He understood the fans and they felt like they understood him.
Despite his six-foot stature, the Hall of Famer lovingly known as Bubba Chuck left a gaping hole in this franchise that went unfilled.
Enter Joel Embiid.
The charismatic Cameroonian, who inked his supermax extension Tuesday, has taken the mantle as the Sixers’ franchise player.
And quite frankly, the Sixers are lucky to have him.
Then-GM Sam Hinkie watched as the Timberwolves and Bucks passed on Embiid in the 2014 NBA Draft because of injury concerns. While the potential was undeniable, potential was all it was as Embiid sat out his first two NBA seasons while dealing with a fractured navicular bone.
Despite Hinkie’s departure from the franchise, Embiid’s excellence kept the outside-the-box executive’s legacy at the forefront. Through The Process years, Embiid provided a glimmer of hope. The fact that he delivered with overwhelming expectations and with an entire franchise strapped on his shoulders is remarkable.