Before he ever made the big showcase, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid made it a priority to try and get himself voted into the All-Star game. During his second NBA season in 2018, Embiid made it happen.
Ever since then, he just keeps on making it happen. At this point in the 2021 NBA season, Embiid is locked into the All-Star game once again.
After being announced as a starter on Thursday night, Embiid officially punched in his fourth-straight All-Star appearance. He's the first Sixers player to make it four times in a row since NBA Hall of Famer Allen Iverson, who went seven-straight times.
It's no surprise Embiid made it again. After all, he's considered to be an NBA MVP candidate at this point in the season. 23 games into the year, Embiid is averaging 29 points-per-game and 10.8 total rebounds-per-game. He's also draining a career-high of 54-percent of his shots from the field and 39-percent of his three-pointers.
A couple of weeks ago, Embiid played it humble and mentioned he wasn't sure if he would even get voted into the All-Star game this year. But at this point, the big man can celebrate yet another accomplishment for himself as it's official.
Now, the question is: Will Embiid play in the big game? Not too long ago, he spoke on it, and the Sixers center seemed unsure. "We'll see -- we got a long season," Embiid said. "I missed a couple of games through that tightness from the fall against the Lakers. So, we'll see how I feel. If it's an issue or I'm not one-hundred percent [I might not play]. I'm focused on winning a championship and getting to the playoffs healthy. That's my main focus."
At this point, Embiid is still dealing with back tightness. On Monday, he missed the game against the Utah Jazz because of it. And on Wednesday, Embiid was clearly not one-hundred percent himself as he looked a tad bit slower and seemed off. With the big game around the corner, it might be best if Embiid sits out and focuses on staying healthy. However, it might be too early for him to make that call.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_