Joel Embiid received 73 first-place votes, followed by Jokic with 15 and Antetokounmpo with 12. Results were made public on Tuesday.
The Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid has been voted the NBA’s Most Valuable Player for the 2022-23 season. Embiid defeated Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks and Nikola Joki of the Denver Nuggets in an encounter among three of the NBA’s best big men for the maiden Michael Jordan trophy. During the regular season, Embiid averaged a league-high 33.1 points per game and 10.2 rebounds per game. This is Embiid’s first career MVP award, the first for a Cameroonian player, and only the second for an African player. This is the fifth season in a row that an international player has received the honor.
Embiid has been out of the 76ers’ last two games due to a knee ailment and hasn’t played since April 20. Embiid is deemed “doubtful” for Wednesday’s Game 2 against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals, according to 76ers coach Doc Rivers. Luka Doni of the Dallas Mavericks and Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics had previously won the NBA’s Kia Race to the MVP Ladder, but their performances have fallen off towards the conclusion of the season, leaving the three players to duke it out this season.
In a preferred vote, Joel Embiid triumphed over Jokic and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, two other MVP nominees. Embiid received 73 first-place votes, followed by Jokic with 15 and Antetokounmpo with 12. Results were made public on Tuesday. “I don’t know really where to start, it’s been a long time coming,” a delighted Embiid told the TNT network on Tuesday after his award. A lot of hard work, I’ve been through a lot. And I’m not just talking about basketball, I’m talking about life, my story, how I got here and what it took for me to be here. It feels good. I don’t know what to say. Amazing.”
Due to Joki’s dominance and NBA voting rules, Embiid has missed out on the MVP award and a berth on the All-NBA First Team for the previous two seasons. This comes after the center led the charts the previous year, becoming the first representative of the position to do so since four-time NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal, and the first center in 40 years to average over 30 points per game (Embiid averaged 30.6).
Steph Curry, a player for the Golden State Warriors, has previously stated that Embiid deserves to be named MVP because of this leap. The two-time MVP responded when asked by Bleacher Report about his choice for the honor. “I would say Joel [Embiid].” “Joel took a leap that I think a lot of people didn’t expect because he was dominant already,” Curry continued. “That leap turned heads and put [the Sixers] in a great position. If I had to pick, it would be him.”