Comparing Joel Embiid's career through 50 games to Wilt Chamberlain, Allen Iverson and other NBA stars
Joel Embiid has scored more points than Hakeem Olajuwon and LeBron James did through 50 NBA games, and almost as many as Allen Iverson.
UPDATED: Sunday, Dec. 3, 3:25 p.m.
Joel Embiid is the toast of Twitter, the prince of the Process and the envy of his fellow world-class athletes. Boy, just wait until the Sixers start letting him play on back-to-back nights.
It's strange to imagine that for all of Embiid's considerable charm and dominance, and for as long as he's been a Sixer, he just played the 50th game of his career on Saturday night.
Embiid's career started with two redshirt seasons because of a nagging foot injury and the tanking, which helped build the current promising roster, rolled on.
It has taken awhile to get here, but let's try to put his numbers into perspective. They're pretty impressive.
Joel Embiid’s statistics
Note: Embiid missed the final 37 games in 2016-17 with torn meniscus in his left knee.
Here are the numbers for the first 50 games of today's top centers:
Karl-Anthony Towns (left) and Joel Embiid are two of the great young centers in basketball. Here they are playing against one another last season. STEVEN M. FALK / Staff Photographer
Career numbers for the top five picks (and other notables) from the class of 2014:
Notable: Wiggins was the class's rookie of the year. …Wiggins never played for Cleveland. He was traded to Minnesota in the deal that sent Kevin Love to the Cavaliers. …Parker hasn't played since Feb. 8 because of a torn left ACL. He is not expected back before the All-Star break this February. …Gordon is averaging 19.0 points this season and has had high games of 41 and 40. …Exum missed all of 2015-16 with a knee injury and has yet to play this season because of a separated shoulder he sustained in a preseason game. …Saric and Stauskas are Sixers. Saric was acquired on draft night in a terrific move by Sam Hinkie while Stauskas was acquired in 2015. …LaVine, who won the All-Star Dunk Contest in 2015 and 2016, is recovering from a torn ACL and is out until at least late-December. …Numbers are through Saturday's games.
The first 50 games for the Mount Rushmore of NBA centers. Good Lord, look at Wilt's numbers:
*Wilt, playing for the Philadelphia Warriors, put up his first 40-40 in the third game of his career when he scorched Syracuse for 41 points and 40 rebounds. Wilt had at least 46 points six times within his first 50 games and had a high of 58 points (and 42 rebounds) in Game No. 46, also against Syracuse. Embiid's career high is 46 points.
*The Warriors moved to San Francisco following the 1961-62 season. Syracuse moved to Philadelphia starting in 1963-64 and changed their nickname from the Nationals to the 76ers.
*Russell played just 48 regular season games as a rookie in 1956 because of his commitment to the U.S. Olympic team which won the gold medal in Melbourne, Australia.
*For purposes of this report, Russell's first two postseason games from that season are included. Russell won the first of his 11 titles as a player in his rookie season. He and Embiid did not win rookie of the year. Tommy Heinsohn, who played the full season, was the ROY in 1956-57. Same with Malcolm Brogdon in 2016-17.
*Milwaukee was 27-55 the year before Abdul-Jabbar arrived, 56-26 his rookie season. He changed his name from Lew Alcindor after Milwaukee won the title in his second season.
*O'Neal was the first rookie to win the NBA's player of the week in his first week of play. The award began in 1979. He won three titles with the Lakers and one with Miami, but was unable to win a championship with Orlando, the team that drafted him.
Most points in first 50 games
Joel Embiid has scored more points than Hakeem Olajuwon and LeBron James did at this beginning point in their careers and almost as many as Allen Iverson. Here are the most points for the first 50 games at the start of a career since the NBA/ABA merger in 1976-77. And, yes kids, Bernard King was a beast.
Research assistance: www.basketball-reference.com