On Sunday, while the Philadelphia Eagles were eking out a 25-20 win in Massachusetts over the New England Patriots, Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid was taking in some American football elsewhere. The reigning NBA MVP was in attendance for the season opener between the Washington Commanders and Arizona Cardinals, a guest of Sixers managing partner Josh Harris, who led the purchase of the Commanders over the summer.
In the first game for #Commanders owner Josh Harris, there will be more than half-price hot dogs and increased usage of Legends Plaza:— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 10, 2023
-- Legends like Sonny Jurgenson and Champ Bailey, plus celebs like Kevin Durant and Joel Embiid, will be there.
-- There was a $40M investment…
In between watching the action on the field, Joel got in a little light tampering with Phoenix Suns star Kevin Durant. Durant, of course, is a D.C. native and lifelong Washington football fan.
KD and Embiid posted up at the Commanders game ... pic.twitter.com/79Ru2TWLrs— ᴀᴄʜ™ (@StepbackAch1) September 10, 2023
We got some great photos from the gathering, but the best is Harris looking like a hobbit, sandwiched between Embiid and Magic Johnson. Magic is a part of the Commanders ownership group.
Naturally, the ever-present Michael Rubin was around as well:
Normally, I’d be a little uneasy about Embiid being feted by another city’s sports franchise, but it’s not like anyone is forcing their way to the Washington Wizards; even Durant never seriously considered it amidst all his team hopping. Although the Commanders emerged victorious, their beating the Arizona Cardinals, projected to be a bottom-two team in the league this season, 20-16, isn’t much cause to map out the parade route just yet. And hey, at least Jonathan Gannon’s head coaching career started out with a big ol’ L. Need more fire in the gut.
Regardless, this is the version of Joel Embiid I want to see more of in the future.