On a night where one Sixers star took home the Rookie of the Year award, another face of the franchise reveled in an honor of a different kind.
Joel Embiid will grace the cover of NBA Live 19 due out in September, publisher Electronic Arts announced Monday during the broadcast of the 2018 NBA Awards. The selection marks the first ever for a Sixer in the game’s history, debuting in 1994.
The All-NBA second-team center took to his own Twitter account to share the news.
With his larger-than-life personality and growing profile after a breakout year, Embiid was a natural fit to carry the next installment in the NBA Live franchise. The 7-foot, 250-pound center in his first full season put up 22.9 points per game to go along with 11.0 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 63 games and earned an All-Star selection.
Embiid is a known gamer himself, particularly fond of the FIFA series. He’s shared trash talk among other comments on social media going back to 2014.
It’s worth noting that the last two NBA Live cover athletes — Russell Westbrook in 2016 and James Harden in 2018 — both went on to become the league MVP for the corresponding season. EA SPORTS certainly did. There was no game released for 2017.
Embiid becomes the first Philadelphia cover athlete overall since Claude Giroux was picked for NHL 13, and first Sixer for any game since 2004’s ESPN NBA Basketball (NBA 2K4) featured Allen Iverson.
The 24-year-old Cameroonian also joins the elite company of a star that he hopes to draw to the City of Brotherly Love in free agency: LeBron James. The King was revealed earlier this month for the cover of the 20th anniversary edition of NBA 2K19, a competing series.
Staff writer Nick Tricome contributed to this report.
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