Joel Embiid’s infatuation with pop star Rihanna is no secret.
The Philadelphia 76ers center has actively courted her for years with a social media campaign some might describe as obsessive.
It all started with this August 2014 tweet where Embiid hinted at being rejected by a “famous girl.”
This is the truth… I was trying to get with this famous girl and she said " Come back when you're a All Star" bruhh pic.twitter.com/CFBnRqnKMA
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) August 17, 2014
At the time, Embiid was an upcoming NBA rookie facing a couple of years of riding the pine with injuries. Rihanna wasn’t identified then as the object of his affection, but that fact has been made abundantly clear over and over and over again with tweets like this one.
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) February 20, 2015
And this one.
There are plenty more where that came from. If you’re interested enough to still be reading at this point, it’s a history you’re probably familiar with. But if you’d like a refresher, Yahoo Sports’ Dan Devine has you covered right here.
The news of the day that makes Embiid’s adventures in pursuing Rihanna relevant again is his selection as an All-Star starter out of the Eastern Conference. What’s important is Rihanna’s alleged mandate to Embiid to “Come back when you’re an All-Star.”
It’s a mandate that Embiid seized on during his breakout 2016-17 season as he tried to get fans on his side to achieve a pair of goals.
“Rookie of the Year would be great, but I don’t think it’s going to help me get to my crush,” Embiid told reporters in January 2017. “Hopefully the All-Star [vote] will help me do that.
Alas, Embiid’s quest came up short last season. But now he’s a bonafide NBA All-Star. He’s been voted in as a starter, and there’s no taking that away from him.
So now what?
Well, fans flood Rihanna’s Instagram with the news of Embiid’s honor is what.
That is just a small sample of the inundation of Embiid mentions on Rihanna’s Instagram page late Thursday.
But through the All-Star news and ensuing social media bluster, we had yet to hear from Embiid himself on how he plans to move forward with his courtship. He and the 76ers had a prime time TNT matchup against the Boston Celtics to tend to.
But TNT’s Kristen Ledlow got the scoop after Philadelphia’s 89-80 win that saw Embiid post 26 points and 16 rebounds.
And it sounds like The Process has moved on.
Kristen Ledlow gave Embiid a chance to give Rihanna a sales pitch now that he’s an All Star. He passed: pic.twitter.com/G557Tl8wuZ
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) January 19, 2018
“She denied me back then, so why go with her again?” Embiid said. “I have to pass that and move on to the next one.
“Trust the process.”