Sixers: Joel Embiid does not care about being MVP

Joel Embiid, Sixers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Joel Embiid, Sixers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Philadelphia 76ers’ big man, Joel Embiid, has now been runner up for the NBA Most Valuable Player award the last two seasons finishing behind Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets both years. At media day this year, Embiid said “I don’t care anymore” about winning the award and said his focus is on winning an NBA Championship.

As a Sixers fan my opinion can obviously be seen as biased, but Joel Embiid undoubtedly should have won at least one MVP award over the last two season. Offensively he is the most unstoppable player in the paint since Shaquille O’Neal. Defensively he has been consistently discussed as a potential Defensive Player of the Year and has made three All-NBA Defensive teams in his five full seasons of playing.

Embiid’s greatness is well-recognized, yet that hasn’t stopped him from politicking for the MVP award and discussing it with a little too much frequency in interviews. Now clearly Embiid has not brought it up unprompted and the media loved asking him questions about the award, but he does have the ability to shut these conversations down if he wanted to. That appears to be his mindset for this upcoming season.

Is Joel Embiid really done worrying about MVP?

Does Embiid saying he does not care in a preseason interview truly mean he does not care about winning the MVP award? No. Obviously no. But by saying this he is trying to eliminate any possible distractions around this team that may have resulted from this topic in year’s past. When the questions and conversation are more about the MVP award, an individual accomplishment, as opposed to an NBA Championship, a team accomplishment, it can be seen as selfish or cause a disconnect between Embiid and his teammates.

I am not saying this happened the last few years, there is nothing to indicate that his public desire for the MVP award caused any team issues or distractions. However with the team falling short of the ultimate goal and having disappointing exits in the playoffs, any and all criticism and speculation is fair game. By stating that he does not care and is focusing on a Championship, Embiid is setting the record straight and quelling any possible discussions of distraction on his part this year.

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