Danny Green grinned when asked what makes Joel Embiid stand out from other elite teammates.
Green played with LeBron James (Cleveland, Los Angeles Lakers), Tim Duncan (San Antonio), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio and Toronto), and Anthony Davis (Los Angeles) before joining the 76ers last season.
“Other than the fact that he’s 7-2 and he’s 300 pounds and nimble, he’s just a force,” Green said, “one we’ve never seen before. You know he’s Shaq [Shaquille O’Neal] with footwork and touch. We’ve never seen a big man with guard skills like him.”
And it’s safe to say the Sixers haven’t had anyone as revered since Allen Iverson.
On Thursday, Embiid became the franchise’s first player to be voted to start in five consecutive NBA All-Star Games since Iverson did it seven straight times from 2000 to 2006. Embiid didn’t play in last season’s All-Star Game after coming in contact with a barber who tested positive for COVID-19. League rules dictated that he be quarantined for seven days following after the exposure.
But once again, Embiid was named one of the Eastern Conference starters when the top 10 players from both conferences for the 71st All-Star Game were announced on TNTbefore the Sixers entertained the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I’m a competitor, so anytime I go out there, I still have fun, but also to try to win,” Embiid told TNT of participating in the All-Star game. “That’s my goal. I’m just going to go out there, having fun, try to win, and be the MVP.”
His selection was far from surprising.
Embiid was third in scoring at 29.0 points per game, to go with 10.8 rebounds and a career-best 4.3 assists. He also put together 1.0 steal, 1.4 blocks, and 32.8 minutes through 36 appearances this season.
He also joined O’Neal (1999-00) and Russell Westbrook (2016-17) as the only players in the last 30 seasons to average at least 34 points and 10 rebounds over an 18-game stretch. Embiid also scored 30 or more points 20 times this season and 40-plus points on six of those occasions.
His dominance is a major reason the Sixers are among the conference’s top six teams. They are 3-8 without Embiid and were 25-11 in games he’s played in before Thursday’s game.
The All-Star reserves, selected by the league’s coaches, will be announced next Thursday.
The All-Star Game will be held at 8 p.m. on Feb. 20 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.
James (West) and Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (East) led all voting among starters, who were chosen through a combination of votes by fans, players, and a panel of reporters. As a result, they will serve as team captains.
The fans accounted for 50% of the vote, with media members and players accounting for 25% each. They will be the captains for the game. The captains will select their rosters from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves on March 4.
Starters for the Eastern Conference are Durant, Embiid, Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, Chicago Bulls swingman DeMar DeRozan, and Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young.
For the Western Conference, the starters are James, Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić, Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins, Warriors point guard Steph Curry, and Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant.
Embiid finished third in the fan voting for Eastern Conference front-court players. He was third in the player voting and tied for first in the media voting.