SLAM- Earlier this week, Joel Embiid asked longtime Sixers public address announcer Matt Cord to add his new self-claimed middle name “The Process” to his official introduction.
It didn’t happen Thursday night when the Sixers played the Washington Wizards at the Wells Fargo Center. It didn’t matter.
After two seasons and 136 losses of waiting, Cord simply saying, “A 7-foot center from Kansas, No. 21, Joel Embiid” was all the crowd in South Philadelphia wanted to – no, needed to – hear.
'The Process'? The fucking Process? It's perfect. No, it's more than that. If there's not a word that means "better than perfect" in the English language than there are officially no words to describe how amazing of a fit 'The Process' is as a nickname for Joel Embiid. In fact, it's so incredibly applicable that I have no choice but to believe that he has been holding on to it for the last two years as he sat at home recovering from the the comical amount of lower body injuries he's incurred since being drafted. Let's just say the guy has had plenty of time to think of his eventual nickname, and there's no way something as impeccable as 'The Process' would have evaded him until now.
Obviously I love it as a tribute to Sam Hinkie, the man who inevitably fell on the sword for the failures of his draft picks, but really - when you think about it - Joel Embiid is the living embodiment of the process. He's a player that has taken far longer than expected to fulfill any of his promise on the basketball court. He's a player who has faced so many setbacks that having any faith whatsoever in his potential has seemed increasingly fruitless at times. Honestly, after the Ben Simmons injury that is going cost him his rookie year, doesn't believing in the Sixers future seem just as blindly optimistic as believing in the health of a big man that has been hampered by foot problems before playing a single minute in a league where foot problems tend to plague men of his size? To this point, there's been absolutely no reason to trust the process just like there's been absolutely no reason to trust the durability of anything below Joel Embiid's knee caps. That's not going to stop Philadelphia fans from doing so, however, because all they to look forward to is the culmination of a shockingly long rebuilding strategy and the play of their 2014 draft pick whose making his debut in 2016. Two things that have so damn much in common that one almost NEEDS to be named after the other.