The 76ers’ big man filed the trademark for the phrase last week, highlighting his rise in the sport from African unknown to NBA MVP.
Joel Embiid didn’t start playing basketball in his native Cameroon until he was 15 years old. Now, at 29, he’s the reigning NBA MVP with the Philadelphia 76ers and is widely regarded as one of the best big men of his generation.
About to start a four-year, $213 million contract, Embiid is starting to flex his muscles in the business world.
Last week, he filed for the trademark of “improbable doesn’t mean impossible,” a catchy phrase aptly representing his meteoric rise from Africa to Montverde Academy, Kansas University, and the Sixers. The five-time All-NBA selection would have the trademark plastered on all kinds of clothing items, from t-shirts, polos, and basketball shoes to headwear, pajamas, and swimsuits.
A six-time All-Star with three all-defensive nods, Embiid’s evolved into a two-way megastar who’s won the last two NBA scoring titles. A fan favorite throughout, he’s helped the Sixers franchise evolve from The Process— a trademark Embiid filed for during the 2022 playoffs— era into the team’s current iteration of being a perennial threat in the Eastern Conference.
The news comes as the Sixers franchise deals with some turmoil off the court beyond its quest to build a new arena in Center City in time for the 2031 season. Embiid’s teammate James Harden asked for a trade earlier in the offseason, further fanning the flames by making inflammatory remarks in China on Monday about Philadelphia team president Daryl Morey. Embiid then took the Sixers as a team off of his social media accounts, including his Instagram handle with more than 7 million followers.
Despite this sideshow, adding to the long list of drama in Philadelphia over the last decade, Embiid continues to be one of the NBA’s most dominant forces, turning the improbable into reality on a daily basis.
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