76ers' Joel Embiid Announced Birth of son on Thursday

Justin Grasso

Surprise! Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid is a father! Well, that was quite the announcement on Thursday. Embiid, who turned 26-years-old back in March, became a father for the first time this week as he and Anne de Paula welcomed their child to the world and let everybody find out for the first time via social media.

"We are so blessed and fortunate to welcome our little boy in this family," Embiid wrote in an Instagram post. "First of 11 or more? Trying to convince her, but I'm not winning so far. I'm just trying to build a soccer team, but for real, I'm so excited for the future, and my life has a new meaning. Kudos to [Anne de Paula] for being so strong and giving me the Greatest Gift our life can offer #GodisGood"

Now it all makes sense why Embiid was so hesitant to head off into the NBA bubble. Back in the summer, the Sixers were gearing up for a trip to Orlando, Florida, to have a chance to wrap up the suspended 2019-2020 NBA season. Considering the COVID-19 pandemic was still a factor, though, many players around the league were hesitant to join their teams for a number of reasons.

Embiid, who kept the eventual birth of his son under wraps, mentioned at the time he considered opting out of playing in Orlando. "I thought about [not going to Orlando]," Embiid said back in early July. "But then again, I wouldn't want to let my teammates down. You don't want to be in a situation where you put your life at risk." As it turns out, there was more to the story. Embiid didn't only want to avoid putting his own health at risk, but he was thinking about de Paula and his soon-to-be-son Aurthur as well. 

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_