Joel Embiid cut a sulky figure during the Philadelphia 76ers’ loss to the Miami Heat on Tuesday night and it was claimed that he mostly kept to himself all day following the reports of Nikola Jokic winning the MVP award.
The Philly center said he knew Jokic would win weeks ago so it didn’t come as much of a surprise, yet that didn’t mean he didn’t feel hard done by after leading the NBA in scoring. Embiid also pointed out that it’s unfair Bill Simmons gets to have a vote on NBA awards given what he said about Jalen Green last month.
“I put [New Orleans Pelicans forward Herbert Jones] first-team All-Rookie,” Simmons said on his podcast on April 13 while discussing his first-team All-Rookie ballot. “I put him over Jalen Green. F*ck Jalen Green. I don’t care you’re scoring 40 points and your team’s 19–60. Congratulations. I’m sorry, I like winning players.”
The statement prompted backlash from NBA players, most notably Draymond Green. Embiid had a bit to say about it after the game on Tuesday night.
“I don’t know how to explain it, but I go back to what I heard on a podcast, Bill Simmons basically saying … it sounded like he had a grudge against somebody saying ‘F Jalen Green,’” the All-Star said. “If you’re going to allow these type of people to vote on these awards, that’s not fair. What if Jalen Green was in a position to earn a supermax, or, I don’t know, or an All-Star appearance? You’ve got someone sounding like that, and he has a lot of power, he can sway a lot of other media members, and you got someone saying that type of stuff. I don’t think it’s fair, I don’t think it’s ok.”
The Sixers will return home for Game 6 on Thursday night and will hope to avoid a loss as it would mean the end of their playoff run.