It appears that long-time NBA bachelor Joel Embiid finally has the love he’s been looking for, and he didn’t need to look any further than the pages of Sports Illustrated to find her. Turns out the lucky lady is SI‘s own, Anne de Paula, who was caught kissing Embiid on the lips prior to the Philadelphia 76ers matchup against the Orlando Magic over the weekend.
Sixers co-owner, Michael Rubin, took to Instagram to share a picture of the smooch immediately after snapping it from his seat beside de Paula at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday, October 20.
Neither Embiid nor de Paula has confirmed nor denied whether or not a ring has been exchanged – as Rubin so alluded in his caption of the picture- but there is no doubting that all signs surrounding their association with one another point to a burgeoning romance between the baller and the Brazilian beauty. As CBS points out, de Paula would send out her own suggestive signals during the game, with an Instagram Story image of Embiid relaxing under the basket that read “Damnnn babe,” next to a ‘heart eyes’ emoji.
Rumors began to swirl around the possibility of Embiid and de Paula being an item after they were spotted spending time together during a pre-season trip to China. It was also around that early October time frame that word got around about Embiid commenting “linda” under a photo of the 23-year-old model laying out in a swimsuit. The remark was universally taken to be Embiid’s attempt at using de Paula’s native language to compliment her beauty.
There is no telling how long Embiid and de Paula may have been seeing one another, but it wasn’t long ago that both were linked to other partners. Just last month, Daily Mail reported that de Paula had broken off her four-year-long relationship with Irish rocker Danny O’Donoghue. Meanwhile, Embiid had been seen with a couple of models in the months since his 2017-18 season came to an end, with the New York Post citing 24-year-old Jocelyn Chew as having been among them.
Rubin’s outing of Embiid and de Paula came just days ahead of GQ‘s first ever digital cover being released with the 7-foot-tall Cameroonian star as its feature. The article covered the numerous flirtatious escapades that Embiid has become somewhat known for under the single-and-searching status he’s carried to date.
Back in 2014, there was his pass at Kim Kardashian via Twitter. Then he’d tweet out confirmation that he had moved on to obsessing over Rihanna. As Billboard would eventually report, Riri drew his infatuation for a few years before he decided his stock had gone up high enough to insist that a fling was now on her to pursue if she wanted it.
As Embiid would share with GQ, it’s not as simple as settling on any old vixen when you make the game your foremost priority in life. He explained how being in such a position has forced him to have to really do some investigating before committing to a lover.
“You don’t want to be that guy marrying a girl that someone else in the NBA has been with,” said Embiid.