Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid came out of the All Star break with a bang on Thursday night, scoring a game-high 39 points with 16 rebounds in a 112-104 victory over the Brooklyn Nets. The 25-year old center has established himself as one of the most dominant big men in the NBA today, and his confident seems to be at an all-time high, as he described himself as “the best player in the world” following the win over Brooklyn.
Sarah Stier/Getty Images
Embiid told reporters, per ESPN:
“The All-Star Game was fun. Being there in the fourth quarter, doing my thing at the end of the game, I thought it was great.
“But the All-Star Game, just proving I’m here, I belong, and being the best player in the world, I just intend to keep coming out every single night and just play hard and trying to get wins and just go out and try to win a championship.”
In response to his comments about being the best player in the world, Embiid was asked if there is any added significance to the Sixers’ upcoming showdown with reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Eastern Conference-leading Milwaukee Bucks.
“For sure. We beat them pretty bad in the first matchup, they got us the last one, so it’s on us to go out there and try to beat them again.”
“I felt like the first part of the season I was trying to make sure everybody was comfortable, tried to take a step back,” he said, per ESPN. “But if we are going to go somewhere, I’ve got to be one of the guys [doing it].”
Through 40 games this season, Embiid is averaging 23.3 points, 12 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. The Sixers (35-21) will visit the Bucks (47-8) on Saturday night in a game that will air on ABC at 8:30pm ET.