Joel Embiid Links With Sixers’ Former First-Rounder at NBA Finals

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid met with Andre Iguodala before Game 4 of the 2024 NBA Finals.
Apr 25, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid warms up before game three of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs against the New York Knicks at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid warms up before game three of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs against the New York Knicks at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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Last Friday night, Joel Embiid made a rare public appearance at the NBA Finals. While Embiid isn’t typically spotted at NBA games during the Philadelphia 76ers’ offseason, the big man was in Dallas checking out the action between the Boston Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks.

Before the Game 4 battle tipped off, Embiid was spotted talking to former 76ers first-round pick Andre Iguodala.

Just last season, the 40-year-old Iguodala called it a career.

After a second stint with the Golden State Warriors, Iguodala wrapped a career, which spanned over 1,200 regular season games, and nearly 180 playoff games.

Iguodala and Embiid never crossed paths teammates. When the high-flying guard landed in Philadelphia as the ninth-overall pick in 2004, Embiid wasn’t discovered as an elite basketball talent just yet.

At the time of Iguodala’s arrival in Philadelphia, he joined a team headlined by the Hall of Famer Allen Iverson. After two seasons playing alongside Iverson, Iguodala saw his star teammate get traded, which led to the former first-rounder getting the keys to the Sixers’ offense.

In eight seasons with the Sixers, Iguodala averaged 15 points, six rebounds, and five assists. He started all 615 games he played and helped Philly through 35 playoff games across five seasons.

While Iguodala didn’t last with the Sixers throughout his entire career, his success across the country was celebrated by Philly. After a run with the Denver Nuggets, Iguodala carved out a successful role for himself as a reserve in Golden State. He became a four-time Champion and a one-time NBA Finals MVP with the Warriors.

Now, the one-time All-Star is retired. Meanwhile, Embiid is looking to accomplish what the few franchise players before him looked to do by winning an NBA title. By seeing his Atlantic Division rivals fight for the title this week, Embiid is picking up some motivation before heading into another season after an early exit in the playoffs.


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Justin Grasso

JUSTIN GRASSO

Title: Credentialed writer/reporter covering the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated’s FanNation Email: JustinGrasso32@Gmail.com Location: Philadelphia, PA Expertise: Reporting, insight, and analysis on the Sixers and the NBA  Justin Grasso is a credentialed writer and publisher covering the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated’s FanNation.  Grasso got his start in sports media in 2016 with FantasyPros, working the news desk, providing game-by-game player analysis and updates on the Portland Trail Blazers and the Golden State Warriors. By 2017, he joined FanSided’s Philadelphia Eagles site as a staff writer. After spending one season covering the Eagles as a staff writer, Grasso was promoted to become the site’s Co-Editor. For the next two NFL seasons, he covered the Eagles closely before broadening his NFL coverage. For a brief stint, Grasso covered the NFL on a national basis after joining Heavy.com as an NFL news desk writer. In 2019, Grasso joined the 76ers' beat on a part-time basis, stepping into a role with South Jersey’s 97.3 ESPN. Ahead of the 2019-2020 NBA season, he concluded a three-year stint covering the Eagles and joined the Sixers beat full-time. Grasso has covered the 76ers exclusively since then for Sports Illustrated. He is a member of the Pro Basketball Writer’s Association.  Twitter: @JGrasso_ Instagram: @JGrassoNBA