Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid has shown plenty of resilience throughout his career. After missing his first two seasons due to foot injuries, Embiid dealt with people calling him a bust and a wasted draft pick.
Embiid returned for the 2016-17 season, and though his playing time was limited, he showed glimpses of stardom. Finally healthy for 2017-18, Embiid developed into an All-Star, and has made the team every season since then.
This season, however, Embiid took his game to new heights. After leading the league in scoring with 33.1 points per game and pushing the 76ers to a 54-28 record, Embiid earned his first career MVP award.
Embiid was presented with the award before the 76ers took on the Boston Celtics in Game 3 on Friday, and made it clear how much the moment meant to him. During his speech to the home crowd, Embiid mentioned his son, Arthur, who was standing nearby watching his dad address the crowd. When Arthur ran out on the court to hug his dad, Embiid couldn't help but break down in tears.
Joel Embiid breaks down as his son joins him during his MVP presentation pic.twitter.com/ye3d7JlCPT
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) May 5, 2023
It was a touching moment, and one that highlights how much Embiid loves, and cares about, his craft. Embiid overcame a lot to reach this moment, and even to play in Friday's game. It was no guarantee Embiid would play in the series against Boston after sustaining a knee injury in the first round of the playoffs.
But Embiid toughed it out and made himself available against Boston. Considering that, and all Embiid went through early in his career, emotions likely ran high during the MVP presentation. And given how much Embiid was able to overcome to reach that moment, it's no surprise he shed some tears when he held his son in his arms.