Joel Embiid Wins First MVP, Claims First Michael Jordan Trophy

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Joel Embiid Wins 2022-23 NBA MVP, Claims First Michael Jordan Trophy

Chicago Bulls, NBA, News

It’s official: Joel Embiid is your 2022-23 NBA MVP.

The announcement comes after a heated three-player race that included the Philly big man, two-time winner Nikola Jokic, and another two-time winner in Giannis Antetokounmpo. This is Embiid’s first-ever MVP award.

Jokic made a strong case to claim his third-straight victory, leading the Nuggets to a No. 1 seed in the Western Conference with a 53-29 record. He also averaged 24.5 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 9.8 assists per game in what was easily the most efficient scoring season of his career. The Nuggets’ center shot an absurd 63.2 percent from the field and 38.3 percent from downtown. Dunks & Threes gave him the NBA’s single-best estimated plus-minus at +7.9.

Sitting in second place in EPM and in the 99th percentile, however, was Embiid. He put together the best scoring season of his career, leading the NBA with 33.1 points per game to go along with 10.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists. He also shot a career-high 54.8 percent from the field and led Philly to a 54-win record, marking their most victories since the 2000-01 season.

When it comes down to it, there really wasn’t a wrong choice for the NBA’s most prestigious award. Many are going to say that Embiid earned the nod simply because Jokic had earned the previous two, but it’s not like the 76ers’ superstar isn’t deserving. He’s proven to be one of the NBA’s premier players in recent years, and there is little question an MVP should appear on his career resume somewhere.

Embiid is now the first player to receive the new Michael Jordan Trophy, which the NBA unveiled this season to represent the league’s MVP winner.

Display it proudly, Joel!

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.