Sixers’ Joel Embiid says he’s not mad at not being the best player, but he doesn’t know what to do to win it

Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid had a agonizing night Tuesday, hurting his back and aggravating his orbital fracture during Game Five’s loss to the Miami Heat in the second round of the playoffs. To make matters worse, reporters then asked Embiid about his reaction to reports that Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets would be the best player.

Embiid said he was not surprised by the newsAnd he had been predicting the outcome since a poll by ESPN’s Tim Bontemps toward the end of the regular season showed most voters leaning toward Jokic. As a result, he wasn’t particularly upset.

However, Embiid did share some broader ideas about the voting process and who would vote. It is worth reviewing the last part of his response.

“Obviously, congratulations to Nicolas, he’s deserved it. He’s had a great season. There’s no mistake or error. There were a lot of candidates. It could have been either way. Giannis, Devin Booker were in the top team in the league for Road so far, I think every year is about whatever you guys decide, whatever fits the narrative as much as who will win.”

Embiid is right that there was a group of deserving candidates. It ended up turning into a two-man race between him and Jokic, but Giannis Antetokounmpo could easily have won his third cup and you can easily make a case for Devin Booker as the best player on the team.

Although not explicitly acknowledged, there is a narrative side to the award. Team success, players’ career brackets and past results are important; It’s not specifically the “league player of the year” title. That’s why LeBron James doesn’t have the top 10, and no matter how great Jokic looks next season, he won’t have any chance of winning. Ironically, the narrative aspect is why Embiid is likely to win the next season as long as he stays healthy.

“But for me, the only thing I’m going to say about these awards is that, even, I don’t know how to explain it. I go back to what I heard on the podcast. Bill Simmons basically says ‘f—Jalen Green.'” If you’re going to let these kind of people vote for these awards, it’s not fair. What if Jalen Green was in a position to have a Super Max, or I don’t know, All-Star appearance? You have someone who looks like that and has a lot of strength. It can influence a lot of other members of the media and you have someone saying that kind of thing, I don’t think it’s fair. I don’t think it is fine. ”

This is only somewhat related to the actual MVP discussion and seems like a generic snapshot on the media. It’s also worth noting that this specific mockery of Simmons being referenced was a (perhaps unwise) joke that was completely taken out of context. But Embiid’s biggest point about issues with voting for prizes that have financial implications for players is widely shared.

“That’s really the only thing I’m going to say about those awards. I’m not crazy. The last two years in a row, I’ve put myself in this position. It didn’t. It’s almost like at this point, it’s whatever. What happens, happens. Last year I campaigned about it, this year I answered questions when asked, and the next day, you know, a few years before I retired it’s like I don’t know what else I need to do to win it. To me, that’s just anything. It’s all about – not that I wasn’t focused on the bigger picture but that it was really time I put all my energy into the bigger picture of winning it all.”

Embiid wondering what he should do to win the MVP award is certainly fair, as he has deserved more than this season. But really, he did what he was supposed to do and controlled what he could control. The only thing he did “wrong” was to play well during the same season with two historically great players.

The most interesting aspect of this quote is Embiid’s acknowledgment of how much he thinks about MVP. He might not have been bothered by the actual result, but it was clear that the whole process was weighing him down somewhat. Maybe he’ll lift a weight off his shoulders if he stops worrying about him next season.

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