Rachel Nichols doesn’t take too kindly to fans crowning Nikola Jokic with the 2021 NBA MVP instead of Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid.
The NBA MVP race around the All-Star break was looking like it was going to come down to the wire, with guys like LeBron James, Joel Embiid, and Nikola Jokic all looking like the most deserving of the honor.
However, after having both James and Embiid go down with injury, missing a significant amount of time, Nikola Jokic, slowly but surely, claimed sole possession at the top of the MVP leaderboard.
So much so that when the NBA MVP media straw poll results came through on April 15th, 90 of the 101 voters voted for Jokic to win the MVP. Joel Embiid received merely 5 votes while LeBron James, shockingly, received none.
To be fair, Nikola Jokic has been having a historic season in 2020-21. He has established himself as the greatest passing big in NBA history, while posting up insane offensive numbers such as 26 points, 11 rebounds, and a whopping 8.8 assists per game.
He is certainly deserving of the MVP this season, but Rachel Nichols wants more respect to be put on Joel Embiid’s name when it comes to this discussion.
Rachel Nichols went off on Joel Embiid being disrespected when it comes to the 2021 MVP race
In a recent installment of the Jump, Rachel Nichols let out her frustrations about not hearing Embiid’s name enough when it comes to deciding who the 2021 NBA MVP is.
“It is a two-way game! I am exhausted by everyone throwing up all of these offensive numbers and that being the only marker of how we talk about things. There is another side of the court, so that has to matter also.”
“That is not a knock on Nikola Jokic, I think he’s extremely close, but I just don’t get this discounting of Joel Embiid from this conversation, it makes no sense to me.”
Rachel Nichols knows ball pic.twitter.com/EO24VfaDEK
— Harrison Grimm (@Harrison_Grimm) April 17, 2021
Joel Embiid himself, took to the Zach Lowe podcast two days ago to make a rather similar argument for why he should be considered for the MVP this season. His stats are no joke either as he is averaging 30 and 12 on the season, while being perhaps the best defender down-low in the Eastern Conference.
Embiid is a true two-way superstar, while Nikola Jokic has built up a reputation for being lackadaisical at best, on the defensive end of the floor.
The MVP however, does not only account for on court performance unfortunately. Things like availability and narrative play heavily into who gets crowned with Most Valuable Player honors. With Jokic not having missed a game this season, and the fact that he now has to carry a ‘Murray-less’ Nuggets team to a top 6 seed may give him the edge.