Per ESPN, "The time that I missed, [those] two years that I missed, I went to such ... I was in a bad place. Coming back and having a chance to be the Rookie of the Year, I think it's going to pay for all the sacrifices that I made."
Expounding on an interview he gave Sports Illustrated on the subject early in the season, Embiid explained that enduring two season-ending foot surgeries in his two seasons -- combined with the death of his teenaged brother, Arthur, in a car crash in October 2014 -- nearly led him to leave the sport and return to his native Cameroon.
"I was such in a dark place, I wanted to quit basketball," Embiid told ESPN Radio. "I just wanted to go back home and just leave everything behind.
"But, you know, coming into [this] season, one thing I thought was just, 'Come and have fun.' It's all about having fun. So all the dark days that I had back then, for me now, I think it's my time to have fun."