Well Deserved

Embiid was right choice for MVP honors after stellar season


Joel Embiid holds up his 2022-23 NBA MVP award before his Philadelphia 76ers’ home playoff game against the Boston Celtics on May 5, 2023.

Jonathan Goad, Staff Writer

On May 2, center Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers was declared the MVP of the 2022-23 NBA season.

He earned it and he deserved it.

Embiid earned his first NBA MVP award because he is one of the league’s most dominant players on both offense and defense. He carried his team to 54 wins in the regular season.

One hundred people voted and Embiid earned 72 first-place votes, followed by Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic with 15 and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo with 12. Embiid finished with 915 points in the voting, while Jokic (674 points) finished second and Antetokounmpo (606 points) finished third.

Embiid averaged 33.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1 steal, and 1.7 blocks a game this season. He averaged more points a game than his closest competitors in the voting, as Antetokounmpo averaged 31.1 points and Jokic averaged 24.5 points.

Embiid is difficult to stop and finds ways to get to the free throw line. When he gets to the line, he usually makes them. This season Embiid earned 771 free-throw attempts (second only to Antetokounmpo at 772). Embiid made an impressive 85.7% of those free throws.

ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith, before the voting was finalized, explained on his show “First Take” why he was going to cast his vote for Embiid.

“Embiid is getting my vote,” said Smith. “I think he’s been absolutely spectacular this season. Embiid, to me, is absolutely spectacular and also dominant. Inside, outside. Joel Embiid [is] one of the greatest big men in the history of basketball.”

Even though Embiid and the 76ers ended up losing in the second round of the NBA playoffs, that does not take away from what he accomplished this season. Embiid was not healthy for some of the playoffs and even missed a full game. And the MVP race only takes into account what the players achieve during the regular season.

In the 2022-23 NBA regular season, Joel Embiid was the best player in the league. The top player earned and deserved the top award.