Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid was linked to the 2021-2022 NBA MVP award all season long. Despite getting off to a slow start due to a battle with COVID-19 and knee soreness, Embiid quickly re-inserted himself back into the MVP conversation for the second season in a row.
Just last year, Embiid was the MVP favorite at the NBA All-Star break. Unfortunately, a post-All-Star break injury sidelined the big man for a handful of games. At that point, Embiid missed much more matchups than Jokic, which swayed voters in the Denver Nuggets big man's direction as he was healthy and playing at a high level all year long.
Jokic and Embiid were in a tight race for MVP for the second-straight season. And after a solid second-half push, Milwaukee Bucks big man Giannis Antetokounmpo inserted himself into the race as well.
While all three players had an outstanding campaign, the NBA announced on Wednesday that Nikola Jokic would take home the trophy for the second season in a row as expected. With Jokic winning once again, where did Embiid place in the voting?
The Final Results
Once again, Embiid is the NBA MVP runner-up. with 65 first-place votes, 27 second place votes, six third-place votes, and two fourth-place votes, Jokic collected 875 votes for the win.
Embiid was behind him with 26 first-place votes, 39 second-place votes, 34 third-place votes, and one fourth-place vote for a total of 706 votes. Embiid placed in front of Antetokounmpo, Devin Booker, Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum, and Ja Morant.
While the league officially announced the MVP award on Wednesday, the winner was reported much earlier this week. Therefore, Embiid knew he would lose out to Jokic once again. While the situation was disappointing for the Sixers, Philly's big man congratulated Jokic on the win.
“Congrats to Nikola,” said Embiid. “He deserved it. He had an amazing season. There is no right or wrong. There are a lot of candidates and could’ve gone either way.”
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.
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