Sixers MVP front-runner Joel Embiid is not too pleased with being compared to NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, stating they both were dominant in different ways.
It’s happy days for hoop fans in Philadelphia with the Sixers finally getting rid of the Ben Simmons situation. The team has welcomed former MVP James Harden with open arms and is more than excited to see him pair up with their top scorer this season, Joel Embiid.
In what it seems, the era of big men is back in the NBA, with players like Embiid, Nikola Jokic, and Giannis Antetokounmpo being regulars in the MVP race. These big men can not only dominate in the paint but have also made conscious efforts to add shooting to their skill set.
With Giannis and Jokic having an MVP, this year seems to be Embiid’s. The Cameroon native is one of the most skilled big men the league has ever seen. The seven-foot center has a mid-range game and can sink shots from the 3-point line.
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During a recent press conference, The Process spoke about the alleged similarities between him and the Big Diesel.
Joel Embiid addresses his comparisons to Shaquille O’Neal.
Embiid has successfully picked up from where he left last year as the MVP runner-up. Though the arrival of Harden has given him some extra muscle, Embiid was doing a phenomenal job carrying the Sixers amid the Simmons controversy. The likes of Tyrese Maxey and Matisse Thybulle have stepped up in moments of crisis.
The Sixers center is putting up great numbers this season, with the following stats 29.6 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 4.4 APG, and 1.4 BPG. Embiid is shooting close to 50% from the field and 36% from beyond the arc. Currently, sitting on the 2nd seed in the east, the Sixers have suddenly become favorites to win it all.
The @sixers star could end a 22-year scoring-title drought for centers.
— Adam Fromal (@fromal09) March 2, 2022
With constant comparisons to Shaq, The Process felt the need to address the media, saying the following.
“I’m Joel Embiid. I don’t play the way Shaq did, dominant in other ways. I’m not physically dominant like he was. He was a freaking monster when he played. Obviously, Hall-of-Famer, one of the best ever. But I’m Joel Embiid, I dominate in other ways.”
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) March 3, 2022
Embiid makes a valid point, considering Shaq played in a different era. However, the two are great in their own individual ways. O’Neal has never shied away from giving Embiid his flowers and is also gunning for him to win the MVP this season.
While some see glimpses of Shaq in Embiid, some see Hakeem Olajuwon. These comparisons speak volumes of the talent that Embiid possesses.