(CNN) Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers has been named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player for the 2022-23 season.
Embiid beat out Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo and Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokić. In a battle between three of the NBA’s premiers Big men for the inaugural Michael Jordan Trophy.
Embiid averaged a league-high 33.1 points to go along with 10.2 rebounds per game during the regular season.
This is Embiid’s first career MVP award, the first time it has been awarded to a player from Cameroon and the second time it has been awarded to a player from Africa. This is the fifth consecutive season that an international player has won the award.
Embiid has missed the 76ers’ last two games with a knee injury and hasn’t played a game since April 20. Embiid is “questionable” for Philadelphia’s Game 2 against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference, 76ers coach Doc Rivers said Tuesday. Semi-finals on Wednesday.
Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic and Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum have previously topped the NBA’s Gaia Race to MVP ladder, but the pair’s performance took a tailspin in the back end of the season — as all three players struggled. the season
Thanks to Jokic’s dominance and NBA voting conditions, Embiid has missed out on the MVP trophy and a spot on the All-NBA first team the last two seasons.
After the center topped the rankings last year, four-time NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal became the first player to win the scoring title and the first center in 40 years to beat Moyer by averaging more than 30 points per game — Embiid averaged 30.6 points.
Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry previously said the jump is the reason why Embiid should be crowned MVP.
When asked by Bleacher Report about his choice for the award, the two-time MVP said: “I would say Joel. [Embiid].”
“Joel took a leap that a lot of people didn’t expect because he was already dominant,” Curry continued. “That leap turned heads [the Sixers] In a great position. If I had to choose, it would be him.
CNN’s Thomas Schlagter contributed to this report.