Streaming on SHOWTIME® and On Demand Platforms at Midnight; Premieres on SHOWTIME EXTREME® at 10 p.m. ET/PT


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LOS ANGELES – April 12, 2023 – Top NBA MVP contender Joel Embiid is the featured guest on the premiere episode of HEADLINERS WITH RACHEL NICHOLS, available Thursday, April 13 on SHOWTIME streaming and on demand platforms. The episode features veteran journalist, host and NBA reporter Nichols’ in-depth, personal interview with the Philadelphia 76ers star. To watch and share a first-look clip from the debut episode, click HERE. New episodes will premiere every Thursday through the NBA Playoffs.


Embiid shares stories about his early years in Cameroon and reveals how he needed to sneak out of the house to play sports. He also discusses the times he considered giving up basketball, the tragic death of his brother, his social media presence and the criticism he’s faced from other legendary centers about his style of play. Finally, the 29-year-old six-time NBA All-Star reveals details about his off-court life and describes how fatherhood has changed him.


On SHOWTIME streaming and on demand platforms, HEADLINERS WITH RACHEL NICHOLS will be accompanied by a robust offering from SHOWTIME Basketball, including THE BEST OF ALL THE SMOKE WITH MATT BARNES AND STEPHEN JACKSON with guests such as Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley and Will Smith, and THE BEST OF KG CERTIFIED with guests such as Adam Silver, Adam Sandler and Celtics stars Jayson Tatum, Jalen Brown and Marcus Smart.


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HEADLINERS WITH RACHEL NICHOLS will open with a four-episode run, during the NBA Playoffs, with additional guests including Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd and 2023 Hall of Fame inductees Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki. Nichols also hosts WHAT’S BURNIN’, SHOWTIME Basketball’s weekly digital sports talk show that covers the most pressing topics in the NBA from both on and off the court. Episodes are available on the SHOWTIME Basketball YouTube Channel.


HEADLINERS WITH RACHEL NICHOLS and SHOWTIME Basketball will also begin weekly segments on CBS Sports HQ, bringing NBA expertise to the platform and discussing current news, the postseason picture and Nichols’ upcoming sit-down conversations.


The following are excerpts of Embiid from the premiere episode of HEADLINERS WITH RACHEL NICHOLS:


On 2023 MVP race…

“One thing I'll say is that if people tell you that they don't care about it, they're lying. That's the best award you can get as a basketball player, it means a lot. If I were to win it, it would validate all the work that I put in. That's why I cared about it, because you put in so much work and if you get that recognition, it just validates that you didn't waste your time. But like I said, if someone tells you that they don't care, that's bullshit.”


On where he ranks in the NBA…
“The best.”

On hardships throughout his life and career…

“A lot of that's happened to the point where I wanted to give up, especially really from the start of my career. Losing my brother such a young age, and I didn't want to come back here. I just wanted to give up. It was tough. And dealing with a bunch of injuries and people always talking, saying bad stuff about you. It was hard. But I always had one goal in my mind, and I'm just glad I'm here.”


On his trolling social media style…

“I think from the beginning since I started that doing it, I felt like I was always right at the limit. There were times where I could have crossed it, but in my mind, I felt like I was always right down the limit. I know people in the Sixers organization, they were not happy sometimes – I know a lot of guys, a lot of people were not happy.”


On criticism from other big men, especially legends…

“Shaq, Hakeem, a bunch of other guys, they've said their parts, and I listen. I take criticism. I love it because it makes me better, but it doesn't mean that I should follow everything… To read what [Hakeem] said, someone who to me is the best defender ever, to have him not even consider that end of the floor where I think I'm actually pretty good also, it was disappointing.”


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Follow @shobasketball on Instagram and Twitter. HEADLINERS WITH RACHEL NICHOLS episodes are available on SHOWTIME streaming and ON DEMAND platforms.


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