Denver Nuggets prima Nikola Jokic graciously defends nan MVP lawsuit for Joel Embiid, nan Philadelphia 76ers prima who unceremoniously exited nan NBA Playoffs.
If Nikola Jokic secured his 3rd consecutive NBA MVP Award this season, he would person been nan fourth NBA player to do truthful successful convention history.
Jokic would person joined nan institution of legendary players specified arsenic Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell and Larry Bird. If nan voting occurred straight aft nan Denver Nuggets swept nan Los Angeles Lakers successful a 4-0 Western Conference Finals series, there’s a beardown chance Jokic would person joined their ranks. Instead, nan grant went to Joel Embiid, who led nan Philadelphia 76ers to a 54-28 grounds and nan No. 3 seed successful nan Eastern Conference.
Embiid has faced immense disapproval aft an uncharacteristic showing against nan Boston Celtics successful nan Eastern Conference Semifinals, wherever nan Celtics took nan triumph successful Game 7. Leading nan bid 3-2 aft Game 5, nan 76ers fumbled their Finals chances successful nan 2 remaining games. In Game 7, Embiid and teammate James Harden combined for 24 points, a specified half of Celtics prima Jayson Tatum’s 51 points. In 38 minutes, Embiid only managed to make 8 rebounds, 2 blocks and 5 of 18 section goals, missing each 4 three-point attempts successful a 15-point finish.
Afterward, observers noted that Embiid didn’t “play for illustration an MVP” during a captious Game 7, alternatively losing to nan Celtics by 24 points. Although Jokic was nan runner-up for nan coveted award, he made it clear that nan correct subordinate was chosen for nan 2022-23 season.
“I don’t know, I don’t deliberation astir MVPs anymore,” Jokic told reporters aft securing nan Nuggets’ first NBA Finals slot successful franchise history. “I deliberation group are conscionable mean successful saying that Embiid shouldn’t person won it. I deliberation he should person won it. If you watch it, I deliberation he was playing highly reliable hoops done nan full season. He was really astonishing successful 82 games aliases nevertheless galore games he played.”
Nikola Jokic defends Joel Embiid MVP victory
Big men person dominated nan MVP title successful caller years, evidenced by Jokic and Embiid arsenic good arsenic nan contenders successful nan 2022-23 campaign.
Joel Embiid is nan first subordinate to triumph nan Kia NBA MVP Award pinch nan 76ers since Allen Iverson successful nan 2000-01 season.
Complete voting results ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/kko3o8tmxi
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) May 2, 2023
Behind Embiid and Jokic was Milwaukee Bucks prima Giannis Antetokounmpo, who won nan grant successful 2019 and 2020.
MVP grant winners usually aren’t a predictor of NBA title results — moreover Antetokounmpo didn’t triumph MVP and get a ringing successful nan aforesaid season. Still, seeing Embiid and nan 76ers flare retired successful nan mode that they did was deflating for immoderate hoops instrumentality who has shouted connected Embiid complete nan past respective seasons.
“I don’t cognize what other I person to do to triumph it,” Embiid said aft losing retired to Jokic successful 2022, saying that he felt ambivalent astir winning nan subjective award.
Despite his frustrations pinch nan MVP voting strategy arsenic a whole, Embiid congratulated Jokic for an “amazing season.”
“Congrats to Nikola. He deserved it,” Embiid said. “He had an astonishing season. There’s nary correct aliases wrong.”
Last year, Embiid said he was focusing his power connected winning a title alternatively of an individual award, truthful possibly he tin return adjacent play and proceed nan inclination that Antetokounmpo and Jokic person group forth.