Joel Embiid’s First Idol? Dirk Nowitzki!

Photo Credit: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Joel Embiid’s First Idol? Dirk Nowitzki!

 

From 1991-1998, one NBA team not led by Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen was crowned champions. That team was the Houston Rockets led by revolutionizing center, Hakeem Olajuwon and his “Dream Shake.” Olajuwon was one of the most dominant players of the 1990’s and proved it winning back-to-back titles in 1994 and 1995.

Fast forward, say, 23-24 years later. A cocky, flamboyant center has set sail to revive his defeated franchise. Joel Embiid, and his partner in crime, Ben Simmons, are reviving the Philadelphia 76ers. Comparing Embiid’s style (not greatness) of play to Olajuwon’s, one which includes impressive post moves, mid-range jumpers, and tenacious blocked shots is respectable.

Looking at Embiid now, one could easily think that his idol growing up indeed was Hakeem Olajuwon. But this is not the case. Joel recently shared that none Dirk Nowitzki was the one who impacted him the most when he started playing basketball.

 

“When I first started playing basketball, my coach had a tape of Dirk from the past, and that’s where I first saw his fadeaway move. When I started playing basketball, that was all I knew, and I loved him for these moves.”

 

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