June 5, 2023

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Joel Embiid breaks down in tears after his son runs out onto the field during the MVP presentation

Joel Embiid broke down in tears as he held his son in court on Friday. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia 76ers man Joel Embiid has shown a lot of resilience throughout his career. After missing the first two seasons with foot injuries, Embiid has dealt with people who have called him a bust and a lost benchmark.

Embiid returned for the 2016-17 season, and although his playing time was limited, he showed glimpses of stardom. Finally, a healthy 2017-18 Embiid evolved into an All-Star, and he’s made it to the event every year since.

This season, however, Embiid has taken his game to new heights. After leading the league in scoring with 33.1 points per game and pushing the 76ers to 54-28, Embiid earned his first career MVP award.

Embiid was presented with that award before the 76ers took on the Boston Celtics in Game 3 on Friday, and made it clear how important the moment was to him. During his speech to the home crowd, Embiid mentioned his son who was standing nearby watching his father address the crowd. When Embiid’s son ran out onto the field to hug his father, Embiid couldn’t help but break down in tears.

It was a touching moment, and highlights how much Embiid loves and cares about his craft. Embiid has overcome too much to get to this moment, and even to play in Friday’s game. There was no guarantee Embiid would play in the series against Boston after he suffered a knee injury in the first round of the playoffs.

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But Embiid tackled it and made himself available against Boston. Given that, and everything Embiid has been through early in his career, emotions will likely run high during the MVP presentation. Considering how much Embiid had managed to overcome to get to that moment, it is not surprising that he shed some tears as he held his son in his arms.