Minutes after the first playoff series win of his career, 76ers center Joel Embiid sought out Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill and embraced him.
“I was just excited that he got to witness this because he’s always represented the city, and he loved this city so much,” Embiid said late Tuesday night.
Mill attended the Sixers’ series-clinching 104-91 win over the Miami Heat hours after his release from prison earlier Tuesday.
The commute with Rubin involved a helicopter, something the co-owner said Mill often talked about.
“You know, Meek told me every day we talked, ‘I just dream about the heli picking me up,'” Rubin said. “He said, ‘That’s what I want.’ So when they released him, we said the helicopter’s gonna pick you up.”
“But at the same time, I could have had a year of NBA development and had a year head start,” Bamba said. “So, obviously, I would love to have that opportunity if it was there for me.”
An independent commission earlier Wednesday recommended the NCAA begin working toward pushing for reforms that would end the NBA’s so-called one-and-done rule. The commission said it wanted 18-year-olds to again be eligible for the NBA draft, allowing a path to the pros directly out of high school. The earliest possible date for change based on conversations the NBA has had with its players’ union is the 2020 draft, league sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Bamba, a 7-foot center with a 7-foot-9 wingspan, was one of the top freshmen in college basketball this season. He averaged 12.9 points and 10.5 rebounds while ranking second nationally in blocks at 3.7 per game. Bamba totaled 15 double-doubles, including eight during an 11-game stretch in January and February.
“I don’t want to take away from anything from my time at Texas,” he told ESPN host Rachel Nichols and analysts Byron Scott and Tracy McGrady. “I think it was actually pretty darn special. The relationships that I’ve built there, and the people that I’ve come across, I met some of my best friends in life at the University of Texas.”
Bamba has been considered a top-five pick since the preseason, and he slots in at No. 5 in Jonathan Givony’s latest ESPN mock draft. He missed three games late in the season with a toe injury, but he returned to put up 13 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks during a first-round NCAA tournament loss to Nevada.