Philadelphia 76ers C Joel Embiid made his return to the court on Saturday after missing nine games with COVID-19.
The four-time All-Star picked up where he left off as he led all players with 42 points and tied a game-high with 14 boards, but Philadelphia would fall to Minnesota 121-120 in double OT.
After the game, Embiid discussed his battle with COVID, and according to him, it wasn’t good.
“It hasn’t been good,” Embiid said. “That jawn hit me hard; I really thought I wasn’t going to make it. It was that bad, so I’m just thankful to be sitting here. You know, I struggled with it, but I’m just glad I got over it. You know, I’m just here doing what I love with some good people.”
Minnesota C Karl Anthony-Towns and Embiid have had their issues over the year, but Towns, who sadly lost multiple members of his family to COVID, including his mother, is happy to see Embiid back on the court.
“I told Embiid on the court as well; I am very happy that he’s come to the other side with COVID because we have had our thing for a while, but that’s bigger than basketball, that’s bigger than what we have,” Towns said. “I’ve seen it kill people, and I’m glad that he is on the other side, you know, so I am very, very happy that he’s doing well and he’s coming out on the other side and that he is healthy and he is getting himself back into basketball. No matter how we have felt about each other at times in the past, I think he is a hell of a player, and I am happy that the NBA has him back because, like I said, I want to play against the best of the best and he is one of the best, so it makes me have to play better, and it gives me a challenge.”
There are many things more significant than basketball, and COVID Is one of them, so it’s good to see Embiid and Towns bury the hatchet.