In the midst of a dominant season for one of the best teams in the league, Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid has no problem advocating for himself for the 2020-21 NBA MVP award.
Speaking to Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic, Embiid has "no doubt" he's the MVP because he's "been dominant all season."
Shams Charania @ShamsCharania
76ers star Joel Embiid sits down with @Stadium: “There’s no doubt (I’m MVP). I’ve been dominant all season. I’m not going to stop.” On motivation from feeling disrespected and frustrated last season, Shaq’s criticism “opened my eyes to actually realize that I can be that guy.” https://t.co/Ud3O2APOkV
Embiid was arguably the frontrunner for the award for the first half of the 72-game season. However, the four-time All-Star seemed to lose his grasp on the MVP after suffering an injury during a March 12 game against the Washington Wizards.
The Sixers diagnosed Embiid with a bone bruise in his left knee when he landed awkwardly in the third quarter of a 127-101 win over Washington. He missed 10 games.
During his time off the court, Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic seemed to move into the top spot in the MVP race. He's averaging career-highs with 26.4 points, 11 rebounds and 8.7 assists per game for a Denver team that has won 21 of its past 26 games after a 17-15 start. Jokic has the added advantage of having started every game for Denver so far.
Embiid is also having the best year of his stellar career. The 27-year-old is averaging 30.1 points on 38.7 percent three-point shooting, 11.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists per contest, though he's already missed 18 games this season.
The last NBA MVP winner who missed more than 15 games in a season was Bill Walton (24 games missed) with the Portland Trail Blazers in 1977-78.