Shaq Will Be ‘Disappointed’ In Joel Embiid This Year If He Isn’t The Second Unanimous MVP In NBA History

There are high expectations for Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers this season. Even though they started the year 0-2 and Embiid is working his way into playing shape, Philly is a popular pick to have the most wins in the Eastern Conference during the regular season and Embiid’s name is expected to be in the MVP conversation all year long.

One such person who expects a big year for Embiid is Shaquille O’Neal. On a recent edition of “The Big Podcast with Shaq,” the big man laid out his expectation for Embiid, and let’s just say it won’t be easy for him to obtain.

“Yeah, but he needs to look like it, he needs to walk like it, talk like it, act like it, and play like it,” O’Neal said. “Listen, we know you can shoot the jumper, but when you got a guy small on you, you got to take advantage. Like, when you’re seven foot, and you’re further away from the basket, ok, if the show goes in, it’s cool, but the percentages of it going all the time, it’s not going to be high. If you’re closer to the basket, you could double your percentage, it’s easy.

Shaq went on to say that Embiid is going to average 25 or 26 points per game, but argues if he gets down low a few times, that’ll lead to “6-8 extra points, and then, if you’re averaged 34, 35,” then he is going to win MVP.

“But hey, hopefully he picks it up,” O’Neal said. “Cause if I was playing, and I got beat two years in a row, I’m coming in the third year like, ‘Ok, y’all don’t think I’m MVP? Watch this.’ So, if he doesn’t get unanimous MVP, I’ll be disappointed.”

Exactly one person in NBA history — Steph Curry in 2015-16 — has ever won the MVP award unanimously, although Shaq and LeBron James have both come one vote short of earning that honor.