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Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid missed out on NBA MVP for the second consecutive season, but the 76ers leader is keeping his head up regardless.
A critical Game 6 hangs in the balance for the Philadelphia 76ers as they remain one game behind the Miami Heat in a 3-2 Eastern Conference Semifinals series.
There’s no doubt Philadelphia made it all this way due to Joel Embiid, who makes an easy case for 76ers MVP. And if the 76ers did manage to win it all in the championship, Embiid would make a fitting Finals MVP.
But when it came to choosing an MVP for the 2021-22 NBA season, the league had to go with Denver Nuggets force Nikola Jokić for the second year in a row.
And while Embiid gracefully acknowledged that he, Jokić, and Milwaukee Bucks big man Giannis Antetokounmpo were all deserving candidates, he wondered what more he has to do in his career to finally earn a league MVP nod.
The Philly Voice’s Kyle Neubeck shared Embiid’s full thoughts on the awards announcement on Twitter.
“The next few years before I retire, it’s like…I don’t know what else I have to do to win it,” Embiid concluded. “To me, it’s just whatever…it’s really time to really put all my energy into the bigger picture, which is to win the whole thing.”
Joel Embiid discusses his feelings on another year of narrowly missing NBA MVP
As far as the Bill Simmons comment regarding Jalen Green, the issue that NBA players like Embiid and Draymond Green have with that kind of commentary is that Simmons has power as a media member with All-NBA Award votes. The problem with that is that this inadvertently gives specific media members some power over how much an NBA player can earn. Although Jalen Green is far off from a potential supermax deal, All-NBA teams are one of the qualifications to get a supermax deal.
This is what Embiid seemed most frustrated about in his statement: he clarified that he wasn’t envious of any of the other candidates, as they were all deserving, but he is frustrated by a media community that tends to wield uneven power over player narratives at times. It’s a timely reminder that MVP wins in any league are subjective, and although the majority vote wins, how a player’s narrative is cast that season influences how media members may vote.
This is not to say that Jokić shouldn’t have won the 2022 NBA MVP, but it’s important to acknowledge that there was a discussion among the league’s most impactful players this year. And while it’s easy to make a case for Jokić, it’s also hard to make a case against Embiid, who adapted to the challenges presented this year and led Philadelphia to the playoffs.
As FanSided’s Johnathan Tillman put it, “who has a better story than Joel Embiid?”
Perhaps Embiid can pull a Giannis: exchange the NBA MVP for a championship ring instead.