Nikola Jokic defends Joel Embiid, says the Sixers star deserved MVP
After pulling off the sweep of LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers Monday night, Nuggets center Nikola Jokic was asked about losing out on the MVP award to the Sixers’ Joel Embiid.
Before the second-round of the NBA postseason got underway, the MVP narrative was pretty cut and dry: the race between Embiid and Jokic was close, but the Sixers star did enough down the stretch to solidify his MVP campaign, whereas Jokic’s Nuggets went 8-10 in the final 18 games.
After the Sixers’ implosion against the Celtics and the Nuggets’ triumph towards their first Finals appearance in franchise history, the national sports media has tried to discredit Embiid’s MVP with every breath.
Nikola Jokic isn’t having any of that.
When asked about losing out on the award, Jokic had nothing but great things to say about Embiid’s season.
Nikola Jokic: “People are being mean saying Joel Embiid did not deserve to be MVP”
FanDuel Sportsbook: Bet $5, Win $150 INSTANTLY
- Sign up for a new FanDuel account
- Make Your First Deposit
- Bet $5+ On Any Sport
- Get $150 In Free Bets Instantly
“I don’t think about MVPs anymore,” Nikola Jokic told reporters. “People are just being mean saying Embiid shouldn’t have won it. He should have won it. He was playing, if you watched it, extremely tough basketball all the way through the whole season… He was really amazing in the 82 games, or however many games he played.”
Simply put, the MVP award is a regular season award. Whatever happens in the playoffs does not affect who is crowned as the league’s most valuable player.
That’s not to say Nikola Jokic hasn’t outperformed Embiid this postseason; he clearly has. In the end, Jokic’s playoff performance this year has propelled him to the top of the NBA totem pole. As much as the Sixers fan in me doesn’t want to admit it, Jokic has cemented his status as the best player in the game right now.
As much as we want that title to belong to Embiid, his regular season stats and moments will never add to his legacy quite like a deep playoff run will. He needs to put together a playoff run like Jokic has if he ever wants to be considered the best player in the sport.
Nevertheless, Embiid was great this season and did deserve to take home the MVP. But Jokic just keeps on winning, and as long as he continues to win on the biggest stages, Embiid’s status as the second-best center in the NBA will continue to solidify itself.
>> Read More: 76ers Rumors: There’s an ‘appetite’ around the NBA for James Harden to secure a four-year, $200M contract
Mandatory Credit: Getty Images