In the year 2000, Shaquille O’Neal lead the NBA in scoring averaging an impressive 29.7 points per game. Since then no center has led the league in scoring. Over the last 22 years, only 10 players have won the title. All of them being a guard or small forward.
This season, things are a little different. One familiar face, LeBron James, is in the running for the scoring title. However, the other two names are big men: Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
At the moment, James currently leads the league with 30.0 points per game. Followed by Embiid with 29.8 and finally Antetokounmpo with 29.7. The next closest player, Trae Young, is over a full point and a half away from being in the top three and with only a few games left likely won’t make the jump.
At the rate each of these players is scoring, this race is may literally go down the final bucket made in regular season. However, it is very likely Embiid will end up with the title. The reason? Embiid has a chip on his shoulder.
Unlike James and Antetokounmpo, he does not have any notable accolades to his name aside from five All-Star selections. Both of his peers have won at least one MVP, and Finals MVP. Though it is cool, they probably aren’t going to go all out for this accolade. Embiid on the other hand needs this for his legacy. It is obviously unknown whether or not he will ever win a championship, let alone make it to one. So he is going to do everything he can cement himself in history as a great player.
The scoring title of course has a little real estate in all three players’ minds. That real estate just happens to be the size of a small country for Embiid.