Embiid, who was born in Cameroon, was already the overwhelming favorite to claim the first scoring title by a center since Shaquille O’Neal in 1999-2000 heading into the final day of the regular season. He locked up the honor when Giannis Antetokounmpo was ruled out of the Milwaukee Bucks’ finale against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Embiid had 30.6 points per game entering Sunday night’s game against the Detroit Pistons, while Antetokounmpo finished the season with 29.9. Had Embiid scored zero points Sunday, Antetokounmpo would have had to score 47 against Cleveland to win the title. If Embiid hadn’t played, Antetokounmpo would have needed 78.