Joel Embiid believes that despite suiting up in just 31 games this season, he’s the NBA’s Rookie of the Year.

(Embiid, 23, appears to have changed his mind about teammate Dario Saric winning the award.)

The big fella also reports that his surgically-repaired left knee feels great.

Per ESPN:

“I think so,” Embiid said. “I mean, no disrespect to other guys. Dario [Saric] is my teammate and my friend, and I love him. And I know Malcolm [Brogdon] from when I was visiting schools. When I made my visit to Virginia, he took me around. They both had great seasons.

 

“I know people are saying about me, ‘Oh, he only played 31 games.’ But look at what I did in those 31 games — averaging the amount of points I did in just 25 minutes.

 

“I’m not sure why people want to punish me for that. Even going back to the All-Star Game. I didn’t get chosen for that, and people were killing me because I didn’t play 30 minutes a game. But here’s what I don’t understand: If I put up those numbers in less time than another guy, what’s the difference? Doesn’t it mean I did more in less time? Wait until I play as many minutes as those guys, then you will see what I do.

 

“But people have their own ideas about how they vote for things.”