Embiid showed up to Sixers training camp this season wearing Under Armour, and said he was in negotiations with them.
His contract reportedly includes a signature shoe. Embiid and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors become the faces of Under Armour basketball.
In an essay published on Under Armour’s website, Embiid, who previously was with Adidas, explained his decision.
“When I sat down with Under Armour, one of the first things we talked about was how this can be bigger than just shoes, bigger than just basketball,” the All-Star big man wrote. “I want to help change people’s lives like [Los Angeles Clippers forward] Luc [Mbah a Moute] changed my life.”
Embiid attended the basketball camp of NBA player, Mbah a Moute’s, in his home country of Cameroon in 2011—an experience he says paved the way for where he is today.
“Basketball has given me everything, but it has to be bigger than basketball,” Embiid continued. “That was the first thing that I said to Under Armour, and they were behind it 100 percent. This isn’t about a shoe deal. I mean, listen … I’m gonna make sure they design some shoes as pretty as I am. Don’t worry about that. We’re gonna take care of that.
“But this is bigger than that. I want to use this partnership to do something real. I want to do something that would make my brother (Arthur, who died in a car accident shortly after Embiid was drafted in 2014) proud.”
Embiid entered the NBA after being drafted with the third overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft by the Philadelphia 76ers following one year in college at Kansas University. He missed the first two seasons of his NBA career because of multiple foot and knee injuries.
He made his debut during the 2016-17 season and was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team despite playing in just 31 games. Embiid dubbed himself “The Process,” a nickname based on a refrain used by Sixers fans to “trust the process” during several seasons of dismal records.
Embiid rose to stardom last season after leading the Sixers to a 52-30 record and the cusp of the NBA Finals. He was named an All-Star and averaged almost 23 points per game to go along with 11 rebounds per game.
According to NBA Shoes DB, other NBA players beside Curry wearing Under Armour include Kent Bazemore, Jerian Grant, Andrew Harrison, Emmanuel Mudiay, Delon Wright, Pat Connaughton, Raymond Felton, Patty Mills, Will Barton and Seth Curry.
Photo courtesy Under Armour