When the Philadelphia 76ers started “the process” 10 years ago, the team set out on a long journey to acquire bonafide superstars, players that could bring an NBA title back to the City of Brotherly Love for the first time since 1983. And, they swung and missed a few times with selections like Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, Nerlens Noel, and Jahlil Okafor. But, they sure did hit the jackpot with Joel Embiid.
The raw Cameroon native starred at Kansas for a season before becoming the third overall pick in 2014 behind Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker. Embiid missed the first two years of his career entirely with a foot injury, and only played 31 games in his league-defined rookie year. But, he’s been incredibly productive, and has taken a huge leap in last few years to arguably the league’s best player. He was the runner-up for the MVP to Nikola Jokic the last two years, and seems likely to win it this year.
Joel Embiid is currently the betting favorite to win NBA MVP. (-1000)
He is about to do it in a year where
6 players are averaging over 30.
Top 7 scorers are all career bests.
2 former MVPs having seasons better than any previous MVP season.
Is he one of greatest MVPs ever? pic.twitter.com/osFiiI3kGO
— Phil. E. Cheesesteak (@EmbiiidBetter) April 6, 2023
He’s had just a tremendous season, averaging 33 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists on 54% shooting from the floor and has led the Sixers to the third seed. He’s also won his second-straight scoring title, a rare achievement. But, it’s even more rare of a center, as Embiid as made quite a bit of history.
Luka Dončić will finish the season with 32.4 points per game. Joel Embiid can't finish worse than 32.6.
Embiid will become the first center to win back-to-back scoring titles since Bob McAdoo did it three straight seasons (1974-76). pic.twitter.com/90OBEcysG7
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 8, 2023
That’s pretty impressive. Some great scoring centers have come through the league since then, such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Shaquille O’Neal.
Now, Embiid will look to bring that elusive title back to Philadelphia.