Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals between the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics was the culmination of years of hard work and perseverance for Joel Embiid.
The superstar center received his first MVP trophy at center court before tip-off, and it was well deserved, as he put together his best regular season yet.
Embiid brought out his son for the ceremony, and it was an emotional moment for the Cameroon native.
NBA MVP Joel Embiid overcome with emotions as he’s joined by his son, Arthur. Pretty special moment here pic.twitter.com/E1dwO6gfAg
— Adam Aaronson (@SixersAdam) May 5, 2023
In past years, although he put up very strong numbers, Embiid was criticized by some who felt he wasn’t taking care of his body or his craft.
He was criticized for what some saw as a poor diet and conditioning regime during the offseason, and they felt that he wasn’t playing up to his potential.
But the 2022-23 season saw him reach the zenith of his powers.
He won his second straight scoring title by averaging 33.1 points a game, and he was more efficient than ever, as he shot a career-high 54.8 percent from the field.
The Sixers have also assembled a strong cast around him, which includes another one-time MVP in guard James Harden.
With Embiid out for Game 1 versus Boston due to a sprained knee, Harden went off for 45 points and led Philly to a surprising victory.
With Game 3 and Game 4 at home, the 76ers have an opportunity to take control of this series and come one step closer to their first NBA championship since the 1982-83 season, when another dominant center named Moses Malone took home the league MVP award.
Joel Embiid Shared A Heartfelt Moment With His Son During MVP Speech