The Philadelphia 76ers believe that reigning league MVP Joel Embiid wants to take a similar approach to Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki when it comes to his loyalty to a franchise, according to The Athletic’s Sam Amick.
Embiid made some worrisome comments about wanting to win a championship in Philadelphia “or anywhere else” recently.
“As for the question of whether Embiid might be trying to leave Philly anytime soon, a high-ranking Sixers source told The Athletic that Embiid or his representatives have not shared any such message with the team,” Amick wrote. “In fact, the organization’s belief remains that Embiid would love to go the way of Dirk Nowitzki or Kobe Bryant and stay with one team for his entire career. The source was granted anonymity because these sorts of matters aren’t typically discussed publicly.”
That’s good news for the Sixers, and the team has Embiid under contract for several more seasons, so he should remain with the team as long as Philly wants him. Embiid is under contract through the 2025-26 season and has a player option for the 2026-27 campaign.
In the 2022-23 season, Embiid captured his first MVP award while leading the Sixers to the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. While the team didn’t get past the second round of the playoffs once again, Embiid still had a season for the ages.
He averaged 33.1 points to capture his second straight scoring title. He also pitched in 10.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.7 blocks per game while shooting 54.8 percent from the field and 33.0 percent from beyond the arc.
The Sixers have been one of the better teams in the East in recent seasons, but the team hasn’t been able to break through to make an appearance in the NBA Finals.
With guard James Harden potentially on his way out from the franchise this offseason, the Sixers may need to get creative with how they build a title contender around Embiid.
Bryant and Nowitzki both spent their entire NBA careers with one franchise and delivered titles to those teams. Bryant won five titles in Los Angeles while Nowitzki led the Mavericks past the Miami Heat’s Big 3 of LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in the NBA Finals in the 2010-11 season.
If Embiid does want to follow in their footsteps, he should be in Philly for the long haul.