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Joel Embiid wins Eastern Conference All-Star starting nod

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Joel Embiid will represent Philadelphia in the 2018 All-Star Game.

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Despite failing to secure a roster spot last season in part to his availability, Joel Embiid will make his All-Star debut as a member of the 2018 Eastern Conference All-Star team. Embiid has played in 31 of the 40 available games heading into the second half of the 2017-18 regular season, after Thursday's contest, while showing he's the East's premier center.

Embiid finished third in the East's fan voting with 1,285,587 total votes, second behind Cleveland's LeBron James and Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Media votes followed a similar order, with Embiid picking up 66. New York's Kristaps Porzingis edged out Embiid for third in the player voting, but it was all moot as the 7'2" wunderkind center earned the starting nod.

Embiid is averaging a robust 23.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.9 blocks while evidently garnering immense respect from around the league. Apparently, Embiid's productivity and value won out over his competition. The 23-year-old star marks the first Sixers All-Star selection since Jrue Holiday during the 2013 festivities.

Embiid joins Boston's Kyrie Irving, Toronto's DeMar DeRozan, Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo and Cleveland's LeBron James as the East's starters. It's a glamorous reward on Embiid's resume and Philadelphia's two-way stud earned his spot amongst the league's greats.

Teammate Ben Simmons (16.8 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 7.3 APG) hopes to join Embiid in Los Angeles for the awaited Feb. 18 matchup. Simmons finished third in the conference's fan voting portion but didn't receive a media vote.