Joel Embiid has filed for 'The Process' as a trademark for pre-bottled Shirley Temples

Ball Don't Lie
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/teams/phi/" data-ylk="slk:Philadelphia 76ers">Philadelphia 76ers</a> center <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/players/5294/" data-ylk="slk:Joel Embiid">Joel Embiid</a> is a legend in the making. (Getty Images)
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid is a legend in the making. (Getty Images)

We knew Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid embraced “The Process” as his official nickname.

We thought we knew Embiid embraced Shirley Temples as his official drink of choice.

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And now we know he’d like to combine the two to share with you, the consumer, in the form of “pre-bottled Shirley Temple drinks” under the trademarked name “The Process.” This is really happening.

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A tweet from the NBA Store promoting T-shirts with “The Process” written above “Embiid,” including the official Philadelphia 76ers logo and his No. 21 jersey, prompted Philadelphia-based blog Crossing Broad’s Jim Adair to check the United States Patent and Trademark Office website out of curiosity.

Sure enough, there were two trademark requests filed by Embiid’s agency, CAA Sports, on behalf of their client, for the phrase “The Process.” The first was filed on Oct. 28, between Philadelphia’s first two games of the season, specifically for cell phone cases and apparel, “namely, shirts, sweatshirts, shorts, sweatpants, hats, flip flops.” A little more than a week later, Embiid had an even better idea.

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On Nov. 7, a second filing sought to trademark “The Process” as a branding opportunity for rubber bracelets, children’s books and non-alcoholic beverages, “namely, pre-bottled Shirley Temple drinks”:

Joel Embiid’s trademark request for pre-bottled Shirley Temples called “The Process.” (
Joel Embiid’s trademark request for pre-bottled Shirley Temples called “The Process.” (

Perhaps we should have seen this coming when Embiid posted an Instagram photo of himself with the caption, “Coming along nicely,” accompanied by the hashtags #TrustTheProcess and #shirleytemple.

Coming along nicely #TrustTheProcess #shirleytemple

A photo posted by Joel "The Process" Embiid (@joelembiid) on Dec 11, 2015 at 6:49pm PST

For those of you wondering what could possibly prompt a 22-year-old, 7-foot NBA player to file a trademark request for Shirley Temples called “The Process,” let us refresh your minds. First, we’ll let Ball Don’t Lie’s own Dan Devine explain the origin of Embiid’s nickname. From a fortnight ago:

You’ll recall that the 22-year-old Cameroonian big man long ago adopted “Trust the Process” — a phrase popularized during the years-long rebuild overseen by Sixers general manager/submarine commander Sam Hinkie, as communicated by then-Philly guard Tony Wroten to ESPN’s Pablo Torre (“They tell us every game, every day, ‘Trust the Process.’ Just continue to build.”) — as something of a personal credo.

To outsiders, “The Process” came to define Hinkie’s overarching approach to roster-building, which prepared the 76ers to lose as many games as possible in an attempt to snag high-upside, cost-controlled young talent at the top of the draft. To the faithful, though, “Trust the Process” became the house words of a strain of Sixers fandom that believed Hinkie’s sink-to-the-bottom approach in pursuit of championship-caliber talent superior to the water-treading ways of years past, when Philly seemed to have little hope of anything more transcendent than 45 wins and a shot at the second round of the playoffs.

Embiid was a product of “The Process,” as Hinkie’s No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft. After foot and back problems cost him the first two years of his career — a miserable couple of seasons for Sixers basketball — Embiid has been offically introduced to the Philadelphia crowd as “The Process”:

Now, for the Shirley Temples. The connection between Embiid and the non-alcoholic blend of ginger ale, a splash of grenadine and a maraschino cherry, named for Hollywood icon Shirley Temple, whose status as a child star have made them popular for kids to this day, all began with a nugget from a 2015 article entitled “Covert dealings, Embiid’s attitude are undermining Philadelphia’s ‘process.'”

This type of disregard for instruction also extends to Embiid’s dietary habits. Per a source, the Sixers’ training staff was so concerned about what he was eating, they stocked the refrigerator in his downtown hotel residence each week with healthy food. When a staffer went to restock the fridge each week, most everything was uneaten and unopened, and they were throwing out the fruits and vegetables every week. When the team subsequently asked to see Embiid’s room service bill, they found that most days he was ordering junk food along with his signature beverage, a pitcher of Shirley Temples. Embiid also was frequently seen feasting on chicken fingers and hot dogs at and after games.

He confirmed this habit in a June interview with VICE Sports, in which he admits to drinking “mainly Shirley Temples. I drink Shirley Temples by the pitcher. I usually drink three or four pitchers per day.”

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There you have it. This is the root of what could be pre-bottled Shirley Temples called “The Process” on shelves in a store near you very soon. Whether those bottles are pitcher-sized remains to be seen.

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Ben Rohrbach is a contributor for Ball Don’t Lie and Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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