Joel Embiid is no longer a free agent and has inked a deal with Under Armour making him one of the biggest stars of the brand alongside Warriors guard Steph Curry.
In order to celebrate this new multi-year partnership, Embiid and UA surprised local Philadelphia youth with a basketball drill session and product giveaways.
Rather than having a standard press release sent out to announce the new partnership, Embiid sat down and wrote a personal letter about his journey to where he is today, reflecting on the years of work it took to get here.
Embiid has had to cope with a lot during his short time in Philly. His rise to fame seemed impossible when you think on how little he has played compared to his peers, and how much he has gone through on and off the court and that’s the theme of his personal letter.
In the piece, he remembers his improbable journey from a “skinny as hell” 16-year-old who had never played basketball to NBA All-Star. He also writes about wanting to honor the memory of his late brother Arthur through his partnership with Under Armour.
Basketball has given me everything, but it has to be bigger than basketball. That was the first thing that I said to Under Armour, and they were behind it 100 percent. This isn’t about a shoe deal. I mean, listen … I’m gonna make sure they design some shoes as pretty as I am. Don’t worry about that. We’re gonna take care of that.
But this is bigger than that. I want to use this partnership to do something real. I want to do something that would make my brother proud.
Most shoe deals usually go to guards or forwards, but Embiid has become one of the most marketable players in the league and doesn’t see his height or his position as things that should hold him back from any kind of endorsement.
The Sixers will open their season Tuesday against the Celtics. Their home opener is next Thursday against the Bulls.