Sixers news: Joel Embiid thinks Chinese fans are more passionate than Philly’s own
Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers’ rise to prominence has been widely documented. It’s no surprise that fans all over the world are gushing over the Sixers’ “Trust The Process” mantra. However, was certainly an eye-opener when Embiid said that Chinese fans are actually more passionate than basketball fans in Philadelphia.
Tim MacMahon of ESPN detailed how the charismatic center enjoys his time playing in the NBA preseason games in China.
“The love I’ve gotten is something I’ve never seen before,” Embiid told ESPN while walking to the team bus after doing an interview with Central China Television. “Like, it’s way bigger than what I see in Philly. And Philly fans might be mad at me for that, but it’s just the truth. Chinese fans are just passionate about the game. The love they have is just insane. …
“With my next shoe deal, I think China’s going to be a destination every summer, just coming and being with the fans. That’s what I like. That’s my nature.”
China is Asia’s best when it comes to basketball. The country has been engaged with the NBA for many years now. CGTN’s Ty Lawson wrote a column last year that illustrated Chinese fans’ love for the game.
“Basketball has seen an unprecedented rise in popularity in China since 1987 when the NBA started selling the game footage to the all-sports television channel of China Central Television (CCTV). The NBA’s official blog in China has over 33 million fans. Its website has over 8.6 million registered fans. Currently, there are more than 70 million NBA followers on Weibo and WeChat in China.”
Of course, Philly fans are still the best at what they do. They have patiently endured years of mediocrity years before the Sixers’ playoff run last season. China’s global influence on basketball is real, and Joel Embiid had the chance to personally feel the love of Chinese avid basketball fans.