Paul Pierce’s career may be coming to a close soon, but the 19-year NBA veteran feels good about the holding Kansas basketball has in the NBA right now, thanks to recent Kansas stars Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins entering the NBA.
While Embiid was held out of the Sixers’ 121-110 win on Tuesday night over Pierce’s Clippers, that didn’t stop the veteran from speaking highly of Embiid and how the emergence of Embiid and Wiggins as budding stars has helped him with locker room bragging rights and arguments over which college program is best.
“I always follow Kansas guys that make it to the NBA,” Pierce told reporters, via CSN Philly. “With Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins … it’s something to talk about when you’re in the locker room. You talk about who has the most NBA players, what school is the best school. Stuff with bragging rights.
“[Embiid]’s definitely representing Kansas, now that I’ll be leaving, to the fullest.”
Pierce’s beloved Jayhawks have 15 current players on NBA rosters, but Embiid and Wiggins are the first two since Pierce to show star potential at the NBA level. Pierce didn’t seem to indicate that there was any mentoring going on between he and Embiid, but Pierce should definitely call up Embiid and have the youngster give him a little advice on how to properly use Twitter and emojis.
As for how high Embiid’s star can go on the court, Pierce’s teammate and Embiid’s long-time mentor Luc Mbah a Moute says he’s only going to get better so long as he remains healthy.
“I think he can be really, really good,” Mbah a Moute said, via CSN Philly. “For someone who’s been playing for less than six, seven years to be at this level and play this well, he has the skill, the body. Hopefully, he just stays healthy for the rest of his career so everything he has to do is just work on his skills and keep getting better.”
Embiid is quickly becoming one of the NBA’s most popular players on and off the court, and even his peers can’t help but take notice of what he’s doing in his first season in the NBA.