When Embiid clashed with a Sixers strength and conditioning coach during a road trip in late ’14—a source says the staffer set him on a scale one too many times—he was sent back to Philadelphia. “Joel is a maverick,” Brown says. “He’s curious. He’s competitive. Those qualities are going to allow him to maximize his very evident gifts. But when he was out, those qualities sometimes made it a challenge to always walk that Boy Scout’s line.” Brown looked for something to scare Embiid—“Appropriate fear had to creep in,” the coach says. “‘Maybe I’m going to struggle to play basketball. Maybe there isn’t a light at the end of the tunnel’”—and the dreaded MRI did it.
September 26, 2022 | 9:45 pm EDT Update
“Kawhi is always going to be the hardest worker. He likes to lead by example, but his voice he’s using more,” point guard Reggie Jackson said. “I know people got to see a little more even when he was in Toronto and since his time being here, but he’s become, interestingly enough, a vocal leader for us. “He implements himself when need be, says the right things at the right times.”
Jason Anderson: Matthew Dellavedova on De’Aaron Fox: “He’s a lot stronger than I realized. He’s lean and obviously everyone knows how fast he is, but he’s really strong. He’s got a very solid base and … I didn’t know he was that strong.”
September 26, 2022 | 8:24 pm EDT Update
“I didn’t even hear the comments,” Lowry said. “Someone else told me about ‘em.” And when he heard what was said? “It’s whatever,” Lowry said. “Honestly, he has his opinion, right? Everyone has their opinion and it doesn’t do anything for me. All I do is motivate myself, I always motivate myself.”
Caleb Martin said “I would love to start” at power forward but “as long as I’m playing and can be productive, that’s fine.” Martin said the fact the Heat bypassed signing several veteran power forwards “says a lot to me. I’m flattered. I accept the challenge.”
First, Jazz center Udoka Azubuike and Agbaji used to be roommates. During Azubuike’s junior and senior season at Kansas (Agbaji’s freshman and sophomore season) the two lived together. Agbaji said the two bonded over their shared background — Azubuike is from Nigeria. and so is Agbaji’s father, Olofu. “We connected in that way and my dad would cook for him all the time and bring him Nigerian meals,” Agbaji said. “When I got traded here, I sent him a text. I was like, ‘Hey, Dok, what’s up.’ And he said congrats and that he’s excited to have me here.”