Once. But Embiid was perhaps the standout player from Team Stephen, even in a 148-145 loss.
They were right. When Embiid finally made his NBA debut on October 26, 2016 - putting up 20 points, seven rebounds and two blocks in 25 minutes in a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on national television - it was clear that Embiid had a chance to be special.
Mostly, though, he stood up tall against the little - err. slightly skinnier? - guys. Late in the game, James, Paul George and Kevin Durant tried to isolate against Embiid, but the 7-foot center for the 76ers hung with them step for step.
But after rethinking everything, he made a decision to keep going on the path that he had worked so hard to get to and Embiid said that he was glad he didn't quit after all. "I feel like I'm the best defensive player in the league, so if you want to attack me, good luck". Among the notable instances was when he posterized Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook.
Despite some protestations from a fan base nervous about Embiid's supposed fragility, Embiid will complete the weekend having participated in events on all three days of NBA All-Star Weekend - Friday's Rising Stars game, Saturday's Skills Challenge and Sunday's 67th annual All-Star Game.
"(Embiid) was doing a great job", said Towns, who was on Team Stephen with Embiid.
We're witnessing greatness with Joel Embiid, and his dedication, determination, and loyalty to the game that has given him, his family, and his homeland of Cameroon so much, that shows how impressive it has been for him to be playing at this level.
The mismatch went both ways, after all. But when the Croatian forward began watching Embiid destroy teammates in practices that summer, he was spellbound by the big man's ability to do virtually everything on the basketball court. "As a team, it has been up and down, but we are starting to figure out how to play with each other".