Videos of 76ers center Joel Embiid participating in playground basketball at Seger Park in South Philly have gone viral.
How do the Sixers feel about their franchise player, who has a history of injuries, dominating the playgrounds?
The team's president of basketball operations, Bryan Colangelo, declined to comment Tuesday. However, a team source acknowledged that Embiid would put himself at risk of having at least a portion of his five-year, $146 million contract extension voided if he suffers a serious injury that causes him to miss a substantial amount of time.
The extension, which kicks in next season, is essentially guaranteed. But it protects the team financially if Embiid suffers specific serious injuries.
Embiid would receive his full pay by playing a minimum of 1,650 regular-season minutes in three consecutive seasons during his extension, or three out of four years including next season. He played 1,912 minutes in this past regular season. So he has a good financial reason to stay healthy.
A video surfaced of Embiid dunking on an overmatched trash talker on Friday. Then in a video from Monday, the center bounced the ball off a guy's face before catching it en route to scoring a windmill dunk on him. Embiid came close to landing on a player's foot on the dunk.
Injuries are nothing new for Embiid, an all-star who sat out 21 games this season. He suffered an orbital bone fracture near his left eye that sidelined him for the final eight regular-season games and the first two games of the playoffs. Wearing a protective mask, he returned to the court for Game 3 of the Heat series.
The third overall pick in the 2014 draft, Embiid missed his first two seasons because of two foot surgeries. He also had knee surgery in March 2017.
But he's a dominant force while healthy. The second-team all-NBA pick averaged 22.9 points, 10.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.76 blocks in 63 regular-season games this season.