Last Thursday night, former Kansas men’s basketball center Joel Embiid was selected as a starter for this year’s NBA All-Star Game, making it his fourth straight All-Star appearance.
It is no surprise he was going to be an All Star this year, as Embiid has been in the MVP conversation. The last Philadelphia 76er to make this many consecutive All-Star appearances was Allen Iverson. Embiid has stayed humble about his selection and the year he’s having, but now he can officially embrace the accomplishment.
“Never take it for granted,” he tweeted after the announcement.
Friday night, the day after being announced as an All-Star starter, Embiid cemented his place by exploding for a career-high 50 points. He was a monster on both sides of the ball, topping off his scoring with 17 rebounds, five assists, two steals and four blocks. It was Embiid’s best game to date, and it planted him even further into MVP consideration. In Yahoo’s most recent rankings, Embiid is No. 1 in the MVP race.
In a postgame interview after his dominating performance, Embiid kept it simple and put the performance on his team, not himself.
“If I am who I think I am, I gotta get the job done,” Embiid said. “My teammates found me, I found them.”
Embiid is now averaging 30.3 points with 11.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. He has shooting percentages of 53.6/39.7/85.3, all of which are career-highs. He is also sitting at a PER of 31.7, which is 4th in the NBA all-time.
Joel Embiid will make his start for the Eastern conference for the 70th NBA All-Star Game on March 7. He will also look to continue the MVP run he is having.