Kansas basketball: Kia MVP Ladder projects former Jayhawks star Joel Embiid to repeat as winner

Joel Embiid's recent string of unreal performances with the 76ers has put him at the top spot on the Kia MVP Ladder.

New York Knicks v Philadelphia 76ers
New York Knicks v Philadelphia 76ers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

Joel Embiid has been one of the best centers in the NBA since he played his first game in 2016. The former Kansas Jayhawk is a 6-time NBA All-Star, 5-time All-NBA selection, 2-time recipient of the scoring title, and won the league's Most Valuable Player (MVP) award for the 2022-23 season.

While his teams have struggled in the playoffs in the past few years, Embiid continues to post ridiculous stat lines game in and game out. He is currently averaging 33.8 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 6.4 assists per game, and all but one of those are career-highs.

Philadelphia currently sits at 16-7, good for fourth in the Eastern Conference. While they boast other talented players like Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris, none of it would be possible without the 29-year-old superstar big man. That is why he recently leaped Nikola Jokic on the Kia MVP Ladder in this week's edition to reclaim the No. 1 spot.

Here is Michael C. Wright's explanation for giving Embiid the top ranking:

"An illness limited the reigning Kia MVP to only one game this week, but he returned Wednesday with a vengeance. Embiid lit up the Wizards for 50 points, joining teammate Tyrese Maxey, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Zach LaVine as the fourth player this season to rack up 50 points or more in a game. Jot that performance down as Embiid’s sixth consecutive contest with 30 points or more."

Although it didn't seem possible, Embiid has taken his game to another level. He has become a much more effective playmaker and is scoring the ball better than he ever has, even with James Harden no longer in the fold.

This year, he became the first former Kansas basketball player to win the NBA's MVP award since the legendary Wilt Chamberlain. And right now, Joel Embiid is well on his way to repeating last season's feat.

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