In what’s becoming a trend, Sixers center Joel Embiid failed to capture league MVP honors, losing out to Denver’s Nikola Jokic for a second straight year. A disappointed Embiid finished the season with a league-leading 30.6 points per game, 11.7 boards, 4.2 assists and 1.5 blocks. Spectacular numbers, though not impressive enough to dethrone Jokic as the league’s best.
“Congrats to Nikola. He deserved it. He had an amazing season. There’s no right or wrong,” Embiid told NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Now, the Philly big man is searching for an answer as to when his numbers, along with his team’s success, will correlate with an MVP award of his own.
“I’m not mad. That’s two years in a row I put myself in that position. It didn’t happen. It’s almost like, at this point, it’s whatever. Whatever happens, happens. Last year, I campaigned about it. This year, I answered questions when asked, and the next few years until I retire, it’s almost like … I don’t know.”
The Joker was a tough competition for The Process.
Joel Embiid congratulates Nikola Jokic for bagging the league MVP award! pic.twitter.com/zFMCCH5QJ4
— Sixers Nation (@SixersNationCP) May 11, 2022
Jokic trailed Embiid in scoring (27.1 points per night) and blocks (0.9), but bested him in boards (13.8) and assists (7.9) during regular season play. His Nuggets were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, while Embiid’s 76ers remain alive, currently trailing Miami 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
While Jokic sits at home with a second MVP trophy on his mantle, Embiid is shifting his focus from individual awards to team awards.
“Like I said, I don’t know what else I have to do to win it,” Embiid said via NBC Sports Philadelphia. “To me, at this point it’s whatever. It’s all about focusing — not that I wasn’t focused on the bigger picture — but it’s really trying to put all my energy into the bigger picture, which is to win the whole thing.”
In order to do so, Embiid will first have to get by Miami, which is one game away from eliminating Philly from the post season and sending Embiid home with double the disappointment.
The series continues in Philadelphia tomorrow night with tipoff set for 7 pm EST.
Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF