The nickname “The Process” has become synonymous with Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid, and the big man recently revealed that he claimed the nickname as his own in order to spite the NBA. During an appearance on “The Draymond Green Show” Embiid explained that he wasn’t happy with the way that former Sixers general manger Sam Hinkie was basically forced out of his role by the league and ultimately replaced by Bryan Colangelo.
Hinkie’s radical plan to rebuild the Sixers via complete teardown was initially dubbed “The Process,” but as the crown jewel of that plan, Embiid adopted it at least in part to keep Hinkie’s legacy alive. Here’s what he had to say about the nickname:
“[Hinkie] was basically forced out by – I don’t want to say names, but you know I’m outspoken, so I’ll say it – by the NBA. I always say I don’t know who, but I think that’s what it was. And then that pissed me off, because I felt like, yeah, sure, there was a lot of losing, which I wasn’t part of because that was before I started playing. But I knew that eventually, once I started playing, it was going to change, which it did.
“So, they basically forced him out, and I didn’t like it … Around that time, the league did not like ‘The Process’, because it was a bunch of losing. They say it was tanking, that we [were] losing on purpose.
“So, I got pissed off because they ran Sam Hinkie out of town, and I knew that they didn’t like ‘The Process’, all the losing stuff. Then, I was like, ‘You know what? I’m going to piss some people off.’ Even around the team, there was a bunch of people that didn’t like that word.
“I remember – I won’t say names – but I used to get calls about. ‘Can you please tell Joel not to mention ‘The Process’ name? We’re trying to move on from it.’ I was like, ‘Watch this.’ So, that’s why I started pushing the agenda about, you know what, I’m going to support my man, because he drafted me. Coming out of college, before I got drafted, he believed in me. I was hurt, but he still believed in me. So, I was like, you know what, I’m going to support him.”
Hinkie’s approach was a controversial one, but the Sixers’ success in recent years is a direct result of it. It is because of his plan that the team currently has arguably the best player in the league in Embiid, and that the organization had the assets to add future Hall-of-Famer James Harden at the trade deadline. No, “The Process” — the plan, not the player — hasn’t resulted in a championship yet, but the Sixers are undoubtedly in better position to contend than they were in the years prior to Hinkie’s tenure.
It has been nearly six years since Hinkie parted was with the Sixers, but Embiid clearly still remains loyal to his former GM. Embiid is notoriously petty, and he’s a self-proclaimed “troll,” so it’s not especially surprising that his nickname was crafted out of spite.