Joel Embiid to Participate in Skills Challenge

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid will participate in the Skills Challenge during the NBA All-Star weekend along some other young big men.

A few months ago here at The Sixer Sense, we looked at Philadlephia 76ers center Joel Embiid and a few of the areas that he may be able to get into the All-Star game. With the previous iterations of big men in the NBA, we couldn’t really fathom a 7-foot-2 center doing things like the 3-point contest or skills challenge, but the new age of big men is one that’s versatile and skilled in more areas than just the paint.

Embiid was selected for the Rising Stars Challenge on the World team — that will face off against Team USA — but unfortunately was snubbed from Sunday night’s NBA All-Star game with Paul Millsap taking his place instead.

That left the 3-point contest and skills challenge for Embiid to participate in.

While Embiid was not named to the 3-point contest, he was selected for the Taco Bell Skills Challenge. This is an event that is highly competitive and fun to watch, and in the past has been dominated by point guards. Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, and Tony Parker are some of the classic names to have won it.

Karl-Anthony Towns actually won the event last year, becoming the first big man to do so. The way it’s formatted now, a guard and frontcourt player are guaranteed to face off in the finals, so Embiid will be going up against fellow frontcourt players in this event.

Those players will be Kristaps Porzingis, Anthony Davis, and DeMarcus Cousins. The guards in the event are Isaiah Thomas, John Wall, Devin Booker, and Gordon Hayward.

Out of the bigs, Porzingis and his versatility will likely give Embiid the most trouble, and it will be tough for him to beat the guards, but nonetheless, Embiid will have fun with it, and we will certainly have fun supporting him. Embiid has been dealing with a knee injury as of late, and it’s unclear if that is big enough of a deal to prohibit him from playing.

Embiid has let the world know he wants to be a point guard at some point in his career, and winning an event that was initially designed for point guards would be a pretty good way to show that that’s a possibility.

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