SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio Spurs great David Robinson was a defensive monster.
He was a four-time All-NBA Defensive team member, the 1992 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, and holds career averages of 10.6 rebounds per game as well as 2.5 blocks per game.
Offensively, he was a force to be reckoned with.
He was the 1994 NBA scoring champion and holds a career average of 21.1 points per game.
However, The Ringer’s Bill Simmons believes that after seven playing seasons in the NBA, Sixers’ Joel Embiid is a better offensive player than Robinson.
During his podcast, Simmons made this bold claim:
“To me, Embiid has reached this point where his offensive toolbox that he has now, his face-up stuff, his ability to overpower people,” Simmons said. “I’m not ready to go there with Hakeem [Olajuwon], but I think he’s a better offensive player than David Robinson was.”
Robinson played 14 seasons and posted a career-high 29.8 points per game in the 1993-94 season.
Embiid is currently posting 28.5 points per game this season and has not recorded a scoring season as Robinson did in 1994.
Moreover, the two big men played in two very different eras.
Embiid is currently in a league with a free-flow offensive style where scoring is at a premium and defenses are lax.
Robinson was putting up stellar offensive numbers in an era where defenses were allowed to hand check and it was a bit more physical game than today’s NBA.
Embiid has yet to win a scoring title nor has scored 71 points in a single game as Robinson did. The Sixers’ big man’s highest-scoring game was 59 points in Nov. 2022.
Robinson had a finesse style of offense with his ability to hit the mid-range shot consistently, get to the free-throw line, and score in transition as well as in the paint.
However, Embiid does shoot the three-point ball better (currently at 34 percent for his career) than Robinson did (25 percent) in his career.
But in Robinson’s era, bigs were not expected to roam near the three-point line and make them as NBA bigs are expected to do so now.
There is no doubt that Embiid has a great offensive game but this discussion may have to be shelved until he retires from the game to see if he did truly surpass Robinson’s offensive game.
What do you have to say, Spurs fans? Let us know on Twitter at @KENS5 and at @JeffGSpursKENS5.