Joel Embiid: ‘I’ll Be Back Even Better and Stronger’

Joel Embiid broke his social media silence Wednesday night, embracing his teary-eyed exit from the postseason with a new profile picture, and vowing to return next season “even better and stronger.”

The big fella thanked Sixers fans for their support, and says Philly’s crushing Game 7 loss to Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors was “the motivation I needed.”

Marc Gasol opened up about what he told a devastated Embiid on Toronto’s home floor shortly after the Eastern Conference semis came to a dramatic end.

Per The Athletic:

“I just told him how I felt. I care about him. As a big man, I understand what he comes from,” Gasol said Wednesday morning, as the Raptors prepared for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final against Milwaukee. “We (used to) share the same agent. Before he even got to the NBA, he was living in his place. I heard a lot of stories about Joel growing up. I’ve always been a big fan of him and his personality. It’s between me and him.

“Sadly in sports, you’re gonna be on the losing side more than the winning side. It’s just the way professional sports work. You lose more than you win. Sadly, but it’s true.”

After one of the most spectacular wins of his professional career, Marc Gasol, who had just spent more than 45 minutes of game time battling Embiid, could offer him empathy.

“Marc has a lot of class. Obviously I have a lot of respect for him,” Embiid said at the podium after Game 7. “I won’t share anything, but obviously he was talking to me, making sure he let me know I’ll be right here at this moment and further in my career. I have a lot of respect for him and he’s a great guy.”

He hugged him, talked with him, even continuing as Philadelphia backup centre Greg Monroe came out to console the Sixers star.

“It’s the way that I perceived it,” Gasol said. “I thought it was needed for him to know how much I care for him, how much I respect him, how much I like his game and how many times he’s going to be on the other side of losing. I don’t know. To me, it’s a normal reaction.”

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