The Denver Nuggets’ epic entry to the NBA Finals just fueled that overwhelming support and attention by many for Nikola Jokic, and this latest feat on one hand can only push the superstar to halt the hate towards Joel Embiid’s capture of the regular season MVP this 2022-23.
In his postgame presser, Jokic called out people who are critical of Embiid’s MVP win, as many seem to get even more convinced of the Serbian star’s greatness after carrying the Nuggets to reach the title round.
“I don’t think about MVPs anymore and I think people are just mean and saying [Joel] Embiid shouldn’t won it,” he said.
“I think he should won it. I think he was playing – if you watch it, [he had] extremely, extremely tough basketball through whole season.”
After he led the Philadelphia 76ers to a top-three record in the Eastern Conference, Embiid finally obtained the MVP trophy that he’s been craving for the past few years, averaging a league-high 33.1 points together with 10.2 boards and 4.2 assists in 54.8 percent shooting for 66 games.
Plenty raised their eyebrows upon the Cameroonian star’s triumph, and murmurs even became louder when he failed to power the Sixers to the Conference Finals this year after crumbling in a humiliating fashion in Game 7 of their East Semis war with the Boston Celtics.
On the other hand, several fans may have seemed to be contemplating and disappointed about Jokic’s missed opportunity to seal that historic three-peat MVP achievement, given that he also posted strong regular season numbers by averaging 24.5 points, 11.8 boards, 9.8 assists in over 63 percent shooting for 69 matches en route to Denver being the top seed of the West heading to the playoffs.
Amid the ongoing drama and conflicts from separate sides regarding the MVP debate for this year, Jokic still believes that Embiid claimed the hardware from a fruitful labor he put in after two consecutive years of shortcomings.
“I don’t want to say player doesn’t mean that but he was really amazing in 82 games or how many games he played,” Jokic concluded.