It appears not everyone supports Joel Embiid‘s case for Most Valuable Player this season. Among his non-MVP supporters is Hall-of-Fame coach George Karl, who explained on an episode of SiriusXM NBA Radio why he does not believe the Philadelphia 76ers star is the MVP.
“(Embiid) takes too many possessions off,” Karl said. “He has lazy body language. He gets angry at things that we don’t understand why. I just don’t know if he’s that NBA pro that we all loved because he’s a competitive SOB.”
Karl went on to praise Embiid, though he also added who he believed had the edge over him in the MVP race.
“From what I know in Philadelphia, everybody says he’s playing great. In games I’ve seen, he played really, really well. He’s played great in the 4th quarters, came up with a lot of comeback wins. I can only like one big guy, and I take Jokic over Embiid.”
Rick Carlisle Believes Embiid is Frontrunner For MVP
After the Sixers defeated the Indiana Pacers on March 18, Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle singled out Embiid’s play and explained why he believes Embiid is the frontrunner for MVP, comparing him to the other two MVP candidates in the process.
“Right now, (Embiid’s) probably the MVP with what their team is doing and how he’s elevated his game,” Carlisle told reporters, per Bally Sports Indiana’s YouTube channel. “He’s as difficult a guy to game plan for as there is in the game. Giannis (Antetokounmpo) is crazy ridiculous. (Nikola) Jokic is (the) same, and this guy may be even more difficult if that’s possible.”
Carlisle used Embiid’s performance against the Pacers that night as proof for why Embiid stands out to him as a player.
“This guy had 31 points in three quarters and made it look like he wasn’t even trying to do it,” Carlisle said. “He’s a walking NBA cheat code right now. He’s just that good.”
Draymond Green Gives Joel Embiid Edge Over Nikola Jokic
On the March 14 episode of “The Draymond Green Show,” Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green explained why he believes Embiid has the slight edge over Jokic for the MVP award, though he admits that it’s neck-and-neck between the two of them.
“In my MVP race with 13 games to go or however many games these teams got, I think Joel has started to create a little separation now. Saying that, it’s still super close, so that can still change, but I think right now, when the next MVP ladder comes out, if it comes out within the next week or so and Joel continues this, Joel gotta take the no. 1 spot because I think he’s been playing that way, his team’s been winning, and then also like I said, if you look at the Nuggets, they’ve had a little slippage. They’ve lost a few games, and that matters in this tight MVP race.”
Green also used the Sixers’ success and the Nuggets’ bad play lately as evidence for he believes Embiid is the frontrunner.
“Joel Embiid has been on a tear, and the Nuggets have been sliding,” Green said. “(The Nuggets) have been kind of losing a little bit as of late. Philly’s been winning a little bit as of late. Joel’s been playing great all year but also as of late. 39 here, 39 there, 37, and he’s willing his team to wins. I think that has to account for something.”