Joel Embiid Should be Rookie of the Year


Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Gianfranco Illiano, Centurion Staff

The 2016-17 NBA regular season
is coming to an end—at least
for the Sixers.
This season however, was not
as disastrous as past seasons for
76ers fans. They finally got to see
Joel Embiid, the man who fans
call “The Process”.
Embiid finally showed the NBA
world why the Sixers took him
3rd overall back in 2014 and man,
he played well! So much so that
he should be rookie of the year.
You’re probably thinking,
“rookie of the year? Embiid
hasn’t played enough minutes!” I
say, “who gives a flying f*ck!”
This is the most common
argument among fans all over
the country that thinks Embiid
shouldn’t win the award. I
guess there was some memo
passed around that we all missed,
because I wasn’t aware that the
name of the award had been
changed from Rookie of the Year
to “Rookie who Played the Most
If Emiid had put up the type
of numbers he did this season
in the 2015-16 season and only
played 786 minutes, which is the
amount Embiid played this season
because of injury, then I could see
giving the award to someone else
like Karl Anthony-Towns, who
actually won the award in 2015.
It’s amazing though, the 76ers
had a preseason “Rookie of the
Year” favorite in Ben Simmons,
up until he broke his foot the
last day of training camp which
resulted in Simmons being shut
down for the season. And then
the Sixers had Joel Embiid, who
suffered a season ending injury
on January 20th. Even now, the
award will most likely STILL go
through Philly, with the consistent
play of Dario Saric.
However, Joel Embiid deserves
to be the Rookie of the Year! I
don’t care if he played 31 games
or 75 games, Embiid NEEDS to
win this award. If not, then this
award will prove to be worthless.
This season’s rookie class has
been historically bad. Just look at
Brandon Ingram, the 2nd overall
pick from the Lakers, what has
he done this season? Absolutely
nothing! Think about it, Embiid
and Saric weren’t even drafted in
2016, but they still “kicked ass”
all around the league. They are
without a doubt the two best players
out of all the rookie-eligible
players this year.
Another argument that gets under
my skin is, “but Embiid only
played 31 games.” Yes, Embiid
did play 31 games. Is it concerning
that he may never play a full
season due to injuries? Yes, that’s
definitely worrisome. However, in
those 31 games, Embiid had the
most impact on his team by far.
For that matter, he had more impact
than any other rookie-eligible
in the league.
Now, if we were talking about
the Most Valuable Player award,
then the number of games played
would matter. It’s a given that
anybody considered to be MVP
of the NBA has to play at least 60
out of 82 games in a season.
Rookie of the Year, however,
is pretty self-explanatory. It’s
literally “who is the best rookie.”
It would be one thing if Embiid
played in 10 games or something,
but 31 games is more than enough
to realize that Embiid has by far
been the best rookie this season.
People forget that Embiid’s
peers go beyond this rookie class;
his peers were All-Star players.
That’s how good he’s been.
Embiid had a magnificent year,
especially for a rookie. He averaged
20.2 points per game, 7.8
rebounds per game, 2.1 assists per
game, and 2.5 blocks per game.
No rookie this year has even
come close to those stats.
The clear and obvious winner
should be Embiid. Most likely,
Saric will end up winning it—and
I have no problem with that. I
would actually be very happy if
Saric wins this prestigious award.
However, Embiid deserves the
award the most out of any rookie
in the league.