Sixers honor Embiid, his love for Shirley Temples

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Joel Embiid with his teammates during player introductions before a game.

It’s no secret that Joel Embiid’s loves his Shirley Temples.

“That’s my favorite drink, the 76ers center said after Wednesday’s shootaround. “I don’t drink alcohol. That’s all I drink.”

So in honor of Embiid’s drink preference and his quest to be selected to play in the NBA All-Star Game, the Sixers and food vendor Aramark devised a plan for Wednesday night’s game against the Knicks at the Wells Fargo Center.

They served 16-ounce Shirley Temples at all of the arena’s bar locations for $5. The Sixers also had recipe cards for a “Joel Embiid Shirley Temple” that came with notes on how to vote for Embiid to become an all-star. The game is Feb. 19 in New Orleans.

It’s not uncommon to see Embiid drinking a Shirley Temple with his meal while out at a restaurant. The rookie doesn’t put anything extra in his Shirley Temples, though. All it takes is ginger ale and grenadine.

Embiid was introduced to the drink as child in the Cameroon, but he stopped drinking it over time. However, he fell in love with it while he was out one night during his one year at Kansas in 2013-14.

Embiid was empty-handed at an event. He was approached by a female, who wanted to know why.

“I was like ‘I just don’t drink. Alcohol is nasty,’” he recalled.  “She was like ‘Oh, I’m going to have something for you.’ So she went and got a Shirley Temple. And I was like ‘Oh, OK!’

“And then I fell in love with it. Since then, I’ve been drinking it.”

There were reports that Embiid had been consumed with the drink after the Sixers selected him third overall in the 2014 draft. Back then, he had a lot of free time in what was the first of two seasons in the sideline after right foot surgeries.

He was asked Wednesday if he drinks a Shirley Temple every day.

“I cut down a little bit on that,” Embiid said. “I used to drink a lot of them. But I’ve got to keep my diet. So like almost every day.”

Randle’s opportunity

Chasson Randle thought he had a solid chance to play for the Knicks.

He was with the Knicks in the preseason as their third-string point guard until he was waived after suffering an orbital fracture near his left eye. Randle, who signed a 10-day deal on Tuesday, is thankful he is with the Sixers.

Now, he’s motivated to go through the proper steps to latch on with the Sixers or any NBA team for the rest of the season. His time with Knicks showed him that he’s capable of playing on this level.

“You got a taste of what the NBA was like,” Randle said. “It’s something that you dream about as kid. You want to make that dream a reality. You work so hard for it, then it’s taken away. You just want to get there.”