Ten years ago, when LeBron was winning his first title, Embiid was a clumsy 7-footer. Few thought the awkward teen lacking a rudimentary skill set would be a model for this generation of centers.
For the first time in decades, the bigs have thawed out and re-emerged to inherit the league.
Embiid’s scoring title is the culmination of the big man renaissance and potentially a sign of what’s to come in the post-LeBron era. Embiid outpaced James, who wouldn’t have qualified because he didn’t play enough games. Peek ahead five years, and there isn’t a young guard or wing who we are assured can become the face of the league, except Luka Dončić . We aren’t far from a reality where Nikola Jokić is the first true center to lead the league in assists per game.
Embiid was projected as a future Defensive Player of the Year, but the closest he came was in 2018 when he finished second to Rudy Gobert in the vote. He lost Rookie of the Year to Malcolm Brogdon and is expected to finish second behind Jokić in the MVP race.
He may be losing the advanced stats battle to Jokić and possibly the MVP, but after five All-Star appearances, three All-NBA Second Teams, three All-NBA Defensive Second-Teams, the 28-year old 76ers’ center has finally won his first hardware.