Former NBA Champion Feels Joel Embiid Can Win MVP Only on One BIG Condition

Published 12/22/2020, 7:00 AM EST
Dec 15, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) shoots a foul shot in front of Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports


Joel Embiid is one of the best big men in the NBA today. The 76ers big man has been considered the big with the highest potential over the past few years. However, throughout his career, he has failed to translate his potential into any credible championship success. But now, with new head coach Doc Rivers, people expect him to finally make the big leap.

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Dec 15, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) fouls Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Former NBA champion and decorated big-man Kendrick Perkins spoke to analyst Brandon Robinson about who he thinks is the best big man in the NBA today. Perk was quick to emphasize Joel Embiid’s name and said, “Well, Imma say this; Embiid is number one. Karl Anthony-Towns is number two, and Ayton is number three. That’s how I rank ‘em. And when you look at Embiid, he is a generational talent.”

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Perkins believes in Embiid’s ability and called him a generational talent. He added, “And the only thing that’s holding Embiid back is his cardio and conditioning, that’s all. If he was to drop 35 pounds, you could book the MVP going to Joel Embiid. You can book that! If he was to get into shape. Like if he gets in shape, it’s OVER for the league.”

Joel Embiid still hasn’t reached his potential

By 2016, Embiid was paired up with another young star; Ben Simmons. Simmons was selected as the number one overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. However, since their pairing was made official, the two have had chemistry issues. But that has not stopped them both from being individually great.

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Dec 15, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) looses control of the ball against Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III (44) and guard Marcus Smart (36) during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Embiid became an All-Star for the first time in 2018 and has been a perennial All-Star since then. The next year, Simmons joined him in the All-Star ranks. However, the two have not been able to translate their All-Star prowess into solid chemistry. With the kind of players they have around them, Embiid and Simmons were expected to help lead the Philadelphia 76ers to the NBA Finals.

But they have fallen in the playoffs at almost every stage, despite the two being elite players. However, the 76ers have now made more moves. They brought in Danny Green and Seth Curry to bolster their three point shooting, and signed Dwight Howard in order to serve as back-up for Embiid. Embiid can definitely learn from Dwight Howard, who is one of the greatest big-men of his generation.

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It remains to be seen how Joel Embiid and the 76ers will perform this season. Their new season begins with a game against the Washington Wizards.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1175 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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