Joel Embiid very classy towards Nikola Jokic: “He deserves the MVP”

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Joel Embiid wins the individual battle, but Nikola Jokic won the collective fight

For the second year in a row, Joel Embiid moved on to a Serbian to win MVP of the season. Nikola Jokic has indeed made the back-to-back this year in front of a Jojo once again number 2. A necessarily disappointing outcome for Embiid but not surprising if we are to believe the words of the Philly star, who did not not forget to pay homage to the Joker.

Before the start of Game 5 between the Heat and the Sixers tonight, Philadelphia player Georges Niang announced a big performance from his friend Joel Embiid, in response to the results of the votes having voted Nikola Jokic for the title of MVP. The famous “Angry Jojo” Game, you know. Except that’s not really what happened, quite the contrary. The Sixers center was not really in the game for the entire first half, so much so that Charles Barkley did not hesitate to point the finger at him on the set of TNT to explain the bad start of the Sixers: “He arrived on the field without the slightest energy, with his head elsewhere, and the team followed”. It’s as if Sir Charles had forgotten that Jojo was playing with a loose thumb and a fractured eye socket. You add to that a small glitch in the back suffered at the start of the match and a new shock to the face during the first period, and this may explain it. But no, the story that circulated quite a bit on the networks, especially after a report by Chris Haynes from Yahoo Sports during the encounter is that the low level of energy displayed by Embiid was directly linked to the results of the MVP. A hypothesis considered disrespectful by a good number of fans and hexperts on the blue bird, who wanted to recall the conditions in which Embiid played and especially the maturity gained by the man in recent years. And when we hear the main interested party’s remarks after the meeting (via PhillyVoice), we still have a little trouble highlighting the results of the MVP as the main reason for his poor performance on Tuesday (17 points, 5 rebounds, 12 shots and 3 free throws attempted).

“It’s something I’ve known for weeks, probably two weeks before the season ends. After those games against Denver and Milwaukee, and the poll [de Tim Bontemps d’ESPN, ndlr.], I knew that wasn’t going to happen. »

The two games Embiid is talking about are that Sixers loss at home to the Jokic Nuggets in mid-March, and the other loss to the Giannis Bucks at the end of the month, also in Philly. As for Tim Bontemps’s poll, he had placed the Joker number one in the MVP race two weeks from the end of the regular. A trend that has become increasingly important, before being confirmed by the title of Jokic this week.

“Of course, congratulations to Nikola, he deserves it, he has had an exceptional season. There is no right or wrong answer, there were many candidates. It could have gone either way. Giannis, Devin Booker who was on the best team by far, so I guess every year it’s all about what you decide which fits the most narrative to designate the winner. »

You will agree, this does not really sound like the speech of a guy sacrificing a Playoffs game because he is upset about the results for the MVP. So yeah, maybe those are just words behind the camera. And yes, Embiid is inevitably disappointed not to have won the bet after having achieved an all-time season. This is also the global mood in Philadelphia, Doc Rivers even accusing “the excesses of this society focused on statistical analysis”. But in the end, Embiid wouldn’t be on the court today — battered all over and with a mask over his face — if regular-season MVP was his primary focus. Jojo has said it many times: even if he believes he deserves the most prestigious of individual trophies, the title he wants above all else is that of NBA champion. Come on, next.

“The only thing that can bother me with the awards is that a member of the media can have something against a player and he can influence others according to the weight he has. I don’t think that’s fair. But other than that, I’m not mad. For the past two years, I’ve put myself in a position to win, but it hasn’t happened. […] It has really come time for me to focus all my energy on the most important thing, namely winning the title. »

Finding yourself facing Bam Adebayo with a boo all over the place, that’s probably what explains Joel Embiid’s performance last night on the Miami floor. So well, all this speculation, we prefer to leave it aside and focus on how Jojo will react during Game 6 on Thursday in Philadelphia.

Text source: PhillyVoice

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