Finally, the NBA regular season has come to a close. Although the Sixers' record may not show success, fans would think otherwise. Not only have the Sixers improved from last season, but they most certainly have a bright future ahead.
The best part of the season for all Sixers fans, including myself, was being able to witness Joel Embiid dominate each game he played in. In my eyes, he's a stand out player not only on the court, but through his personality as well.
Many Sixers fans (including myself) have been asking the same question after the Sixers' last game on Wednesday. Does Joel Embiid deserve Rookie of the Year?
Well, he certainly thinks he does. In an interview with ESPN's Jackie MacMullen, The Process himself had this to say about who should be Rookie of the Year:
"I mean, no disrespect to other guys. Dario [Saric] is my teammate and my friend, and I love him. And I know Malcolm [Brogdon] from when I was visiting schools. When I made my visit to Virginia, he took me around. They both had great seasons. I know people are saying about me, 'Oh, he only played 31 games.' But look at what I did in those 31 games -- averaging the amount of points I did in just 25 minutes. I'm not sure why people want to punish me for that."
"Even going back to the All-Star Game, I didn't get chosen for that, and people were killing me because I didn't play 30 minutes a game. But here's what I don't understand: If I put up those numbers in less time than another guy, what's the difference? Doesn't it mean I did more in less time? Wait until I play as many minutes as those guys, then you will see what I do. But people have their own ideas about how they vote for things."
Despite only playing 31 games in the regular season, he has put up exceptional numbers and has wowed the entire league with his talent. However, 31 games isn't enough to be worthy of Rookie of the Year.
Because of his limited playing time during the season, he wasn't able to carry the Sixers to where they probably should have been this year. Yes, for as little as he played, his numbers were phenomenal, but it's still important as a team player to play throughout the entire season instead of sitting on the bench being injured.
I feel that part of earning Rookie of the Year is having an impact on your team for the entire season, not just for one month (yes, I'm referring to the amazing month the Sixers had in January).
As much as I love the Sixers and Joel Embiid, his limited time on the court isn't gonna make the cut for Rookie of the Year, and that's the harsh reality of it all. There are plenty of other players who worked just as hard as Embiid did, but played more games and got more minutes on the court, thus giving the other candidates (like Dario Saric and Malcolm Brogdon) an advantage.
However, if Embiid played the entire season, he would easily be Rookie of the Year, no questions asked.
Even if Embiid doesn't win Rookie of the Year, it won't be the end of the world. I say this because once Embiid is healthy and able to play an entire season along side with Ben Simmons and Dario Saric, every team in the league better watch out. So, although Embiid will most likely not get the honor, the process will be worth the wait and the Sixers will soon one of the NBA's most dominant teams.
Always remember to trust the process.