76ers stud Joel Embiid wants to be an NBA All-Star for the best reason ever ... because he thinks landing the honor will bring him closer to the experience of a lifetime ... a date with Rihanna.
Here's the story ... Embiid has been trying to drum up All-Star votes from fans saying he needs the All-Star tag to have a shot with a famous mystery "crush" he's been chasing for years.
He's tweeted about the mystery girl and even referenced her during a post-game interview last week ... but never mentioned her by name.
Well now, our Embiid sources are telling us the girl in question is definitely RiRi ... who he's had a crush on FOREVER.
In fact, when Embiid was first drafted into the league, he shot his shot with the singer on Twitter -- but he claims she shot him down ... insisting she told him to "come back when you're a All Star."
Fast forward to right now and guess what ... Embiid is one of the best young players in the league -- averaging 19 points and 8 rebounds a game ... meaning he's definitely in All-Star territory.
If he gets enough votes, he makes the team ... if he makes the team we'll see if Rihanna is a woman of her word. After all, a deal's a deal, right?