NBA coach Doc Rivers demands respect for Joel Embiid-Nikola Jokic duo while urging end to noxious MVP debate

The MVP race of the 2022–23 season is coming to its final lap as the season is going to end after three weeks of games. But the anticipation incites toxic comparisons, and Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers is not loving it.

For the last couple of months, the contention appeared to take a two-dimensional shape with the Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic and the 76ers’ Joel Embiid. Though Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo and Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic are still in consideration, their recent injuries slowed them down.

As the history between Nikola and Joel seems to be quite intense, 76ers coach Doc Rivers wants the fans to refrain from making it an unhealthy competition rather than enjoy it.

What did Doc Rivers say about the MVP race?

The 61-year-old is aware of the tension between the Nuggets’ center and his pupil, as the latter came up short twice in the MVP race over the last two years. “I thought he (Embiid) was the MVP last year, but I wanna make a point. Can we stop trying to put people down?” The Sixers’ coach urged

“We should be celebrating our guys in the league. Giannis, Jayson Tatum, and Joker—all of them are great. We don’t need to push one guy down to elevate the other guy. They are all completely different players. They are,” the former point guard added.

Being a mentor, he always wants Embiid to win this year’s honor, but that doesn’t make Jokic any less of a performer to him. “Joel, in my opinion, is the best of that, and I don’t think anyone needs me to campaign for him,” Rivers continued. “I think the proof is in the pudding. Having said that, I respect all of them.”

“I don’t know what’s going on lately; it just seems like to validate one, you have to push down the other guy. No, you don’t. They’re all great,” the three-time All-Star game coach concluded.

Jokic scored on average 24.7 points with 11.9 rebounds and 9.9 assists per game in 64 appearances, whereas Embiid had 33.5 points with 10.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game in 57 appearances this season. The statistics alone are unable to figure out which is better, but the judges will do their best to name one of them.

Do you agree with Doc Rivers? Who’s your MVP this season? Leave your opinion with us in the comment section.

Shahbaj Arefin

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Shahbaj Arefin is a professional Sports Content Writer at SportsZion. He mostly covers NBA, alongside NFL and MLB. His favorite basketball player is Michael Jordan. Arefin is also a football enthusiast. He is a die-hard supporter of Argentina and Chelsea FC, frequently posting on Facebook during the their matches.


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