In the midst of the debate over whether Joel Embiid should be an All-Star, one segment of the argument is getting overlooked: History. Not a precedent on rookies being All-Stars, but Embiid’s rookie numbers stacked up against all-time greats. Here’s a spoiler alert– they’re unbelievable.
He’s the only rookie in history to average 28 points, 11 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks per 36 minutes. In fact, the only other player in history to put up 28/11/3.5 per-36 in any season is Cozell McQueen, who played a total of 7 minutes in 1987*. To get anyone else on the list at all, you have to drop the point minimum down to 26, rebounds to 10, and blocks to 3. Then look at the ages:
Here are some other ranks (all minimum 20 min/game):
- FTA per-36: 1st all-time (10.9)
- PTS per-36: 2nd all-time (28.0)
- Blocks per-36: 9th all-time (3.5)
But Embiid is not actually putting up those numbers, because he’s not playing 36 minutes per-game. Fine. Here are all the rookies in history who averaged Embiid’s 19 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks per game:
And here are the ones who did it in under 32 minutes per game:
Per-36 isn’t used to artificially fudge Embiid’s numbers. It’s a standard measurement. He’s played enough minutes in enough games that it can be used to compare him to the legends. But it just so happens, when you do, it’s not a fair matchup… for the legends.
*This list would most certainly include Wilt, but block stats weren’t kept until 1973-74.