The 2021-22 All-NBA Teams were announced yesterday. For Philadelphia 76ers superstar Joel Embiid, it was the same story as last year. Despite being the league leader in scoring and having another MVP-worthy season, the Sixers’ big man was selected to the Second Team rather than the first.
Embiid averaged 30.6 points, 11.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game on 49.9 percent field-goal shooting. Although the number of games he played this season was not central to the MVP discussion like it was last season, Denver Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic once again beat out the Sixers franchise player in the award voting.
StatMuse laid out the brutal truth behind Embiid’s brilliant past two seasons. His 2020-21 and 2021-22 campaigns are the only two seasons of the past 15 years to end up top-two in MVP voting without an appearance on the All-NBA First Team.
There’s only been two players voted top 2 in MVP voting who didn’t make All-NBA First Team in the last 15 seasons:
— Joel Embiid in 2020-21
— Joel Embiid in 2021-22 pic.twitter.com/ezCvM8NKxI
— StatMuse (@statmuse) May 25, 2022
Embiid landing on the second team again after another marvelous season is a massive disservice. The All-NBA teams have no business being restricted by positions — at least not in all five spots — specifically because of moments like this. The voters chose not to exercise the possibility to vote for Embiid as a forward and Jayson Tatum, despite having fewer voting points, was selected as the forward over Embiid because he got more votes as a forward.
The Sixers aren’t helping Embiid feel much better. The roster needs a lot of work and was not good enough to overcome the injuries he suffered in the NBA playoffs. Embiid has been selected to the All-NBA Second Team four times but the First Team still eludes him despite his best efforts.