Kevin Durant said Joel Embiid deserves the MVP. He doubts he’ll win it, however, as the Sixers center isn’t quite the same as the two other leading candidates.
“There are a lot of players who have been controlled by their story,” Durant said. “Some of it has happened because of the player and some of it is about the perception that other people have about that player. In Joel’s case, more people like Giannis (Antetokounmpo) and (Nicola) Jokic.
“It’s that simple. His personality, his story I think. As a basketball player, if people only look at the game and what’s on the floor,” Durant continued, “then the narrative and who you are and your Personality, that stuff doesn’t really matter or shouldn’t be there. Joel, they probably like those guys better. It’s not fair. But that’s what happens over time. If I had the vote, I’d be Joel chooses.”
The media has already cast their vote for the MVP and it should be a tough race between the three frontcourt All-Stars. Jokic, who led the latest ESPN Media straw poll, won the award last year. He averaged 27 points with 13.8 rebounds and 7.9 assists, while a shorthand took the Nuggets squad to seed West’s sixth.
Antetkounmpo, who already owns two MVPs, averaged 29.9 points with 11.6 boards for the former’s third seed. Embiid, gunning for his first MVP, led the NBA on 30.6 points with 11.7 rebounds for the fourth-seeded Sixers.
Durant stated that Embiid’s vacant MVP trophy case should be another reason to approve him, and that the limit for back-to-back awards – as Jokic could accomplish and Embiid had already done – should be a higher limit. needed.
“I think if you’re going to win back to back MVPS, it’s got to be like Steph Curry. His first MVP, he averaged 23 points and seven rebounds. His next one, he took such a big step ( Average 30.1 points for a 73-win team),” Durant said. “If you’re going to get two in a row, you can’t copy the same thing you did a year ago. That’s what I think. … To win two in a row you have to do something compared to a year ago.” I think back-to-back MVPS are special and the season you have to be team-wise and individual-wise, everyone has to come together to win back-to-back. I think Jokic’s season was incredible but Joel’s season was just as good, if not better.”
After lifting Brooklyn through a chaotic season in the play-in tournament, Durant has his case for second MVP, although he was estranged from his first eight years. He averaged 29.9 points – and was 35-19 with them in the Nets lineup – but the 33-year-old said he understands why he is not in talks with XX missed games.
If he never wins again, however, Durant will go down as one of the greatest without many MVPs.
“There is a lot of if. In this game, if such and such had not been hurt, they would have won it. If it bounced a different way, they would not be seen that way,” Durant said. There is a lot of ‘what if.’ I felt I played at a level where I got better throughout the season and my teammates played better than me and I played better than them. I felt like I came in and approached every day like a Most Valuable Player. it’s enough for me.”
Nets coach Steve Nash, who won consecutive MVP for the Suns nearly 15 years ago, said this is not an indictment of Durant’s legacy.
“It’s as it is. It’s circumstantial. It’s time. Year. Story. Fiction,” said Nash. “My best year was third year (in 2007) and Dirk Nowitzki got the MVP. Every year is a case for someone else, so it’s not a linear thing where the best player gets it every year. It’s always how the weather goes? How many games did he miss? And who had an extraordinary year? What is the narrative? So it’s one of those things that’s not linear.”