/Joel Embiid: ‘I Kind of Count This as My Rookie Season’

Joel Embiid: ‘I Kind of Count This as My Rookie Season’

Joel Embiid is counting the 2018-19 campaign as a his rookie season.

The big fella says it’s because he is “coming in healthy” for the first time since being drafted in 2014.

The 24-year-old is now ready to chase the MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards.

Per Philly.com:

“I kind of count this as my rookie season, because I’m coming in healthy,” said Embiid, who finally enters the season on a level playing field with other players in terms of health. “For the first time ever, I got a chance to work on my basketball skills, which I feel like I’ve already gotten so much better with the help of the coaches and my trainer, Drew [Hanlen].”

So the Sixers want him to incorporate more of what they call “bully ball” into his game this season. To them, “bully ball” — getting the ball in the paint and attacking the rim — will yield more free-throw attempts for Embiid.

“I’m still learning,” he said. “You know I started playing basketball seven years ago. There’s still a lot to learn, adapting to double teams and playing through contact, which I’m going to do more of this year.

“Occasionally, if I’m wide open, I’m going to take a three-pointer.”

Joel Embiid: ‘I Think I’m Unstoppable Inside’