Joel Embiid remains the one player everyone loves to hate. The Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center was snubbed for another major honor after he was relegated to All-NBA Second Team on Tuesday as selected by a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters.
No MVP award. No All-Defense Team. No All-NBA First Team. The All-NBA First Team was comprised of forwards Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jayson Tatum; guards Luka Doncic and Devin Booker; and center Nikola Jokic who beat out Embiid for the MVP award.
Embiid finished with the fifth-most overall votes (414), including 12 first-team votes at center and 45 first-team votes at forward. And the 7-footer actually had 24 more votes than Tatum. However, the Boston Celtics star earned more votes at the forward spot specifically to earn him the final spot there.
The math would indicate there was a concerted effort to get Embiid on the first team. He had dual-eligibility at forward and center. But, as Kendrick Perkins was quick to point out, the “disrespect has to stop.” Embiid deserved better. And many agreed with Perkins’ assessment.
Don’t get it twisted: Embiid’s selection to All-NBA Second Team is a nice accomplishment. It marked his fourth time on the squad in six NBA seasons. Embiid joined Hall of Famers Charles Barkley, Wilt Chamberlain, Billy Cunningham, Julius Erving, Hal Greer, Allen Iverson and Dolph Schayes as the only players in Sixers’ franchise history with at least four selections.
No disrespect to anyone picked. It just seems odd for the league’s scoring champion – 2,079 total points, 30.6 points per game – to miss out on All-NBA First Team honors. Embiid also became only the 11th player in league history to average at least 30 points and 10 rebounds during his historic 2021-22 campaign.
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Embiid Joins Wilt Chamberlain, Allen Iverson
Embiid joined Wilt Chamberlain and Allen Iverson as the only players in Sixers’ franchise history to win the scoring crown. It’s pretty remarkable to see two centers on that list, something not lost on head coach Doc Rivers.
“I don’t think people realize how hard it is for a center to lead the NBA in scoring,” Rivers said on April 10. “It’s so much easier for guards because they have the ball and they can shoot whenever they want to. Centers are incumbent not only on getting the ball, they’re the easiest guy to get trapped as well.
“And I don’t think that’s looked at a lot. Guards can get it, shoot it, plus they can bring it up. Centers can’t, they need someone to pass it to them and then they’re the easiest person to stop from scoring in some ways because you can trap them.”
Twitter Timelines Support Sixers Star
Meanwhile, the tributes to Embiid’s greatness poured out on social media. Sean Barnard blamed a broken voting system for the slight, while Hoop Central simply posed the question everyone was thinking:
And quite a few people stated the easiest way to fix the problem: pick the five best players for All-NBA First Team. Throw positions out of the equation. It’s an interesting debate.
NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Noah Levick summed it up for the masses: “So, though Embiid was eligible at both forward and center, he ultimately was not a First-Team choice because MVP Nikola Jokic received the majority of center votes and Tatum scored better than Embiid in forward voting.”