Charles Barkley picks Joel Embiid as NBA MVP over Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo based on lack of prior wins

As another exhilarating NBA season draws to a close, the ever-intriguing battle for the coveted MVP award is reaching its climax. This year has witnessed many twists and turns, with players vying for the top spot and giving fans a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Let’s dive into the heart of the MVP race and explore how Charles Barkley, a Hall of Famer, and former NBA MVP, weighed in on this exhilarating contest.

Who Will Emerge as the Ultimate MVP?

Throughout the season, we’ve seen various players in the spotlight for the MVP title. Initially, Luka Doncic from the Dallas Mavericks was the favorite, but his chances dwindled as the Mavericks’ record plummeted following Kyrie Irving’s trade. Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics was another early frontrunner, but his slump in the second half of the season took him out of contention. Ultimately, the final trio left standing were Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

During an interview on the Dan Patrick Show, Charles Barkley offered his thoughts on the MVP race and his top pick. He stated that if he had a vote, he would choose between Embiid and Giannis, with a slight preference for Embiid, as he’s never won the award before.

Does Embiid really deserve the MVP award over Jokic and Antetokounmpo?

All three contenders have had astounding seasons, making them deserving of the MVP honor. Embiid, however, not only has never won the award but has also been unstoppable since the All-Star break. In March, he had a phenomenal 10-game stretch, averaging 36.2 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 4.2 APG, and 2.4 BLK. Even when Jokic momentarily reclaimed the top spot, Embiid responded with a staggering 52-point performance in a victory against the Celtics.

Charles Barkley

Barkley emphasized that the MVP award is about thriving at the right time and not necessarily about being the league’s best player. He cited examples from the past, such as Michael Jordan, who was the best player for years before winning his first MVP, and Steve Nash, who outperformed Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal during the regular season despite not being considered a better player.

According to Barkley, the MVP award has never gone to the best player but rather to the one who has had the best regular season. He pointed out that if he had to choose the best player in the NBA today, he would probably go with Giannis, but the award has never been about that.

The MVP Race: Will Joel Embiid’s historic season secure the award?

As Barkley mentioned, historical seasons have often been the key to winning MVP awards. For example, Jokic has rarely been considered the best player in the NBA, but his MVPs were well-deserved after record-breaking seasons. In Embiid’s case, he became the first center since Bob McAdoo in 1975 to average 33 PPG and the first back-to-back scoring champion by a center since McAdoo as well. Although this doesn’t necessarily make him the best player in the NBA, his regular-season success is irrefutable.

The stage is set, and the anticipation is palpable as the basketball world eagerly awaits the crowning of this year’s MVP. Will Embiid emerge victorious and claim the prestigious honor, or will the award find its way to another deserving player? Only time will tell.


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