Doc Rivers is hoping that the heated banter of fans on the MVP race will finally be over this season.
Joel Embiid remains the favorite to win the award, but back-to-back winner Nikola Jokic has been around to contest him with his West top-seed Denver Nuggets.
There are other players in the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic, and Jayson Tatum that are considered to be in the mix for the MVP battle. For Rivers, the toxic discussions of who should win the award strip away the appreciation towards the talent and abilities of these stars of the league.
“I thought he (Embiid) was the MVP last year, but I wanna make a point,” Rivers said, per Ky Carlin of USA Today. “Can we stop trying to put people down? We should be celebrating our guys in the league. Giannis, Jayson Tatum, Joker, all of them are great. We don’t need to push one down to elevate the other guy. They all are completely different players. They are.”
Being Embiid’s head coach in the Philadelphia 76ers, Rivers doesn’t deny his support for his superstar big. But for him, his respect and admiration for other candidates will remain standing.
“Joel, in my opinion, is the best of that, and I don’t think anyone needs me to campaign for him,” Rivers continued. “I think the proof is in the pudding. Having said that, I respect all of them.
“I don’t know what’s going on lately, it just seems like to validate one, you have to push down the other guy. No, you don’t. They’re all great.”