The Philadelphia 76ers will only go as far as Joel Embiid can take them.
It’s been like that since the Kansas product entered the league, and not even James Harden‘s presence has changed that.
Embiid is one of the few perennial candidates for both MVP and Defensive Player of the Year.
However, despite being a top-3 guy in the race for years, it just hasn’t happened for him.
Notably, that might as well change this season, as he’s been on a tear in December with averages of 35.0 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.5 blocks per game on 55.2% from the floor.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 28, 2022
Still, regardless of what happens with the MVP voting, it seems like Embiid just doesn’t care anymore after being snubbed in back-to-back seasons:
“I’m not mad,” Embiid said last year. “That’s two years in a row I put myself in that position. It didn’t happen. It is almost like, at this point, it is whatever. Whatever happens, happens. Last year I campaigned about it. This year I answered questions when asked, and the next few years until I retire, it’s almost like — I don’t know. Like I said, I don’t know what else I have to do to win it. To me, at this point it’s whatever. It’s all about focusing — not that I wasn’t focused on the bigger picture — but it’s really trying to put all my energy into the bigger picture, which is to win the whole thing.”
Of course, it’s hard to state that Nikola Jokic wasn’t a worthy winner of the award these past two years, but it’s not a secret that this award has been narrative-based more often than not.