The NBA MVP race was one of the biggest talking points of the 2022-23 season. The victor wound up being Joel Embiid, though it has been said by some that his winning of the award is due to voter fatigue.
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić was named the MVP of the league in the two previous seasons, having been the most statistically dominant player over the past couple of seasons. He made another strong case this season, coming just a few assists shy of averaging a triple-double for the season. His Nuggets finished in first place in the Western Conference.
Barkley, Others Upset With NBA MVP Voting Results
Joel Embiid is the first player to win the Kia NBA MVP Award with the 76ers since Allen Iverson in the 2000-01 season.
Complete voting results ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/kko3o8tmxi
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) May 2, 2023
How did Jokic’s 24.5 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 9.8 assists per game get surpassed in NBA MVP consideration? Some of it certainly had to do with the performance of Embiid. The 76ers center enjoyed the best season of his career, averaging 33 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. His scoring average was the highest in the league.
But Embiid got to that high average by taking the 8th most shot attempts of any player in the NBA at 20.1 per game, compared to Jokic’s 14.8 attempts per, which is the 44th most in the league.
And so, the case for Joel Embiid winning the MVP award may indeed have to do with the voters being tired of selecting the same person. Perhaps they thought that Jokic’s spot in history wouldn’t deserve a back-to-back-to-back showing of being the best player in the league. But whatever the case may have been, Embiid came out as the clear winner.
One Voter Omitted Jokic From Top-5 Entirely
"There's one person — I don't even know this fool's name — didn't even have [Nikola Jokic] in the top 5. People like that shouldn't get a vote… He's a damn idiot."
Charles Barkley blasts an MVP voter who left Joker off the top 5 😳pic.twitter.com/s4X35meN3u
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 8, 2023
The voting results showed 73 first place votes for Embiid to Jokic’s 15, but there was something that didn’t quite add up in tallying up all of the votes. Charles Barkley spoke out about it during half-time of TNT’s broadcast of the game between the Nuggets and Suns.
Barkley said that Embiid ultimately deserved MVP, but pointed out that there was one voter that didn’t include Nikola Jokić in his top-5 at all. “People like that shouldn’t have a vote,” he said firmly.
Host Ernie Johnson responded by saying that he hoped that it was some sort of clerical error or mistake in counting up the votes. But regardless of how it transpired, there seems to be universal belief that Jokic should have gotten 100% of the top-5 votes. All except for one person, apparently.
The two players are still heavily entrenched in their playoff battles. The Nuggets have given up the last two games to the Suns and are tied at 2-2 going back to Denver. The 76ers enjoyed an emotional win on Sunday over the Celtics, and that series is currently tied 2-2 as well.
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