After multiple runner-ups, Joel Embiid has finally won his first MVP award. As announced on Inside the NBA, Tuesday. Embiid had a great regular season, averaging career highs in every statistical category. 33.1 points and 54.8 percent shooting, 10.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 1.7 blocks per game. He carried the 76ers to a late-season push with an eight-game win streak in March and locked up the three seed in the East.
During his interview on TNT, the 29-year-old acknowledged his mentorship from Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal and how he had helped his development. He also talked about his early struggles and his commitment to excellence.
“I don’t know really where to start, it’s been a long time coming,” a delighted Embiid said. “A lot of hard work, I’ve been through a lot. And I’m not just talking about basketball, I’m talking about life, my story, how I got here and what it took for me to be here. “It feels good. I don’t know what to say. Amazing.”
He had a signature performance against the Boston Celtics in the final week of the regular season with 52 points and 13 rebounds. After the game, 76ers head coach Doc Rivers expressed his gratitude to towards Embiid.
“We did so many things wrong,” Rivers said, “but what we did right was Joel Embiid. The MVP race is over.”
He also had high praise from fellow teammate James Harden saying “Joel should win it, He’s been in contention for it the last few years. He led the league in scoring last year. It looks like he’s going to lead the league in scoring this year. We’re the third seed in the East. He’s been consistent all year.”
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