Joel Embiid made Philadelphia 76ers history Wednesday night just five minutes into the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. With a driving layup in the first quarter that resulted in an and-1 opportunity, Embiid reached 10,000 career points. Embiid accomplished that feat in 373 games, which passes Allen Iverson for the fewest games needed to reach 10,000 points in Sixers history. Iverson needed 378 games, while Charles Barkley took 445 games to pass that threshold. Embiid is also the 13th player in NBA history to reach that mark that quickly.
The bucket that got Embiid to that point total was a great example of how special of a player he is. Not many big men can handle the ball like Embiid does, and he drives right past Cleveland's Evan Mobley to get to the rim for the basket and foul. That's a 7-foot, 280-pound center doing something usually reserved for guards or athletic forwards.
Embiid reaching 10K points in fewer games than Iverson and Barkley is already impressive, but what's even crazier is how he managed to do that in less games despite missing the first two and a half seasons of his career due to injuries. Just imagine that if he was healthy to start his career, he would've passed this milestone a while ago. Embiid's accomplishment also makes him just the eighth active center in the NBA to reach 10,000 points, and he's done it in 100 fewer games than anyone else on the list.
This milestone highlights how dominant of a player Embiid has been not just this season, but throughout his career when healthy. He's the most complete big man in today's game, capable of bullying defenders in the post, putting the ball on the deck to score off the bounce and pull up for an occasional 3-pointer. On the other end of the floor, he's just as impressive as a rim protector down low in the paint, which has earned him three All-Defensive nods. He finished second in MVP voting a season ago and is a candidate for the award again this year while leading a Philadelphia team that has the potential to make some noise in the postseason.