The young man has charisma and personality. Philadelphia is eating out of the palms of his hands and he’s only 30 games into his pro career. “(At games) it’s not just that it’s a sellout crowd — it feels like the playoffs,” Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil said. “Every game feels like a big game. When he touches the ball, it’s like when (Wayne) Gretzky used to touch the puck. You just lean up and lean in. “Boy, does he have the magic Philadelphia touch. His heart’s on his sleeve. He’s got the Iverson ear cup. He’s got the ‘3’ celebration (holds up three fingers with each hand). He has it all. It’s pretty special.”
The Sixers are also 19th in home attendance with an average of 16,974 fans in 24 home dates. They averaged just 14,230 over the three previous seasons (123 games), lowest in the NBA. That’s 2,754 more per night. “Joel Embiid has been a monster on the court and has had a monstrous impact off the court, that’s for sure,” said O’Neil, comparing Embiid’s impact to Jeremy Lin’s “Linsanity craze” in New York and Steph Curry’s early days with the Warriors.