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NBA

What did Joel Embiid say about Nikola Jokic winning NBA MVP?

76ers star Joel Embiid is set to miss out on the NBA MVP award to Nikola Jokic for a second season and suggested the media held too much sway.

Update:
Embiid on Jokic winning MVP: "I'm not mad"
Michael ReavesAFP

Game 5 of the series between Miami and Philadelphia was a tough one to take for the 76ers, who lost the momentum of winning two on the bounce at home and found themselves on the receiving end of a 120-85 defeat at the FTX Arena that has left Doc Rivers and his team on the verge of elimination from the NBA playoffs as the Heat took a 3-2 lead. For 76ers star Joel Embiid the loss capped a frustrating few days: Embiid is one defeat away from missing out on the Eastern Conference final yet again, the 76ers having been eliminated in the Conference semi-finals three times in the last five seasons. The Cameroonian also looks set to miss out on the MVP award for the second season running, with Denver star Nikola Jokic reportedly set to be named the league’s best player for the second consecutive year.

The Philadelphia 76ers center was runner-up to Jokic last year and according to ESPN the Nuggets big man will edge him again for this season’s gong. Embiid enjoyed arguably a career-best season, with a league-high 30.6 points per game with 11.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists and speaking after the 76ers loss in Miami, the five-time NBA All-Star said he didn’t know what else he has to do to pick up the accolade.

Embiid: “Congrats to Nikola. He deserved it. He had an amazing season”

Obviously, congrats to Nikola. He deserved it. He had an amazing season. There’s no right or wrong. There was a lot of candidates. It could have gone either way. Giannis [Antetokounmpo], Devin Booker, being on the best team in the league, by far. I guess, every year is all about whatever you guys decide, whatever fits the narrative as far as who’s gonna win.

This is something that I knew weeks ago, even probably two weeks before the season ended, after those games against whether it was Denver and Milwaukee, and when [ESPN did its] straw poll or whatever. I just knew it wasn’t gonna happen,” Embiid said.

“I’m not mad. That’s two years in a row I put myself in that position. It didn’t happen. It is almost like, at this point, it is whatever. Whatever happens, happens. Last year, I campaigned about it. This year, I answered questions when I was asked, and in the next few years until I retire, it’s almost like... like I said, I wonder what else I have to do to win it, and to me, at this point, it’s whatever.

“It’s all about focusing, not that I wasn’t focused on the bigger picture. It’s really time to really put all my energy into the bigger picture, which is to win the whole thing.”

Embiid takes aim at Bill Simmons

Embiid also suggested the media played too much of a role in deciding who wins the annual NBA awards, citing Bill Simmons’ comments on a podcast about Houston Rockets rookie Jalen Green.

“The only thing I’ll say about these awards is that, I don’t know how to explain it, but I go back to what I heard on the podcast about Bill Simmons basically saying, it sounded like he had a grudge against somebody saying ‘f*** Jalen Green.’

If we’re gonna allow these types of people to vote for these awards, that’s not fair. What if Jalen Green was in a position to earn a supermax or, I don’t know, an All-Star appearance, you got someone sounding like that and he has a lot of power. He can sway other media members and you got someone saying this type of stuff. I don’t think it’s fair, I don’t think it’s OK, so that’s really the only thing I’ll say about those awards.”

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