After endless debates throughout this season, the NBA has named its Most Valuable Player. Denver Nuggets' center has been awarded MVP honors for the first time in his career.
The All-Star center posted averages of 26.4 PPG, 10.8 RPG, and 8.3 APG while leading the Nuggets to the third seed in the Western Conference. He beat out fellow finalists Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid.
Before going down to injury, Embiid was agreed upon as the front runner for the award. Many wondered if his dominant play could make up for the time missed, but he has fallen just short.
This battle of elite centers has been a great storyline for the league as a whole. For years it was said that the big man is fading away, and now players like Embiid and Jokic have ushered in a new era of big man.
With this win, Jokic becomes the first center to hoist the MVP award since Shaq in 2001.
This is a tough loss for Embiid, who spent countless hours in the offseason to prepare his body for a dominant season. Injuries continue to be a thorn in the side of Embiid's career story.
Now that a winner has officially been announced, Embiid is sure to make his opinion felt. Even with the injuries, he thought he was deserving of the honors.
It will be tough to follow up the 39 point performance he had in game one against the Hawks, but he will most certainly try.
Despite not walking away with the hardware, Embiid should hold his head high on an incredible season. He continues to raise his game to new heights and has turned himself into one of the league's most dominant players.
With the desire Embiid has to go down as one of the best players ever, this is likely not the last time we have seen him in the MVP race.
Kevin McCormick covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey's 97.3 ESPN and Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @KevinMcCNBA.