Joel Embiid outdueled fellow large man Nikola Jokic on the court docket, but it surely’s what he did afterwards that has ruffled just a few feathers.
Reigning Finals MVP Jokic and reigning common season MVP Embiid met for the primary time this season on Tuesday night time.
Embiid received the higher of the Serbian celebrity on the night time as he recorded 41 factors, seven rebounds and ten assists whereas main the Sixers to a 126-121 win.
Regardless of the loss, Jokic nonetheless managed 24 factors and 19 rebounds, persevering with his ultra-consistent document for the season.
After the sport, Embiid referred to as Jokic the most effective participant within the league throughout his post-game interview, which didn’t sit effectively with NBA analyst Richard Jefferson.
“Look, if you happen to’re the reigning MVP, he’s the reigning MVP,” Jefferson mentioned on NBA In the present day. “Even Giannis mentioned it. Look whenever you win the MVP, if you happen to win the Finals MVP, you can provide him credit score in that second. However to go and play in opposition to this man, and we all know how shut they’re, and like ‘Look, he’s the most effective participant on this planet’, you’re telling me as your teammate that after we step on, we’ve received the second-best participant on the ground or not less than that’s your mentality. You’re saying it to the world…You probably have horrible playoff performances, I don’t wish to hear you bigging up someone else.”
Jefferson’s fellow analyst, Austin Rivers, agreed wholeheartedly.
“I don’t prefer it in any respect,” Rivers mentioned. “I really like humility however (that was) from the incorrect man. Not him. He’s a man, first off persons are going to make use of this in opposition to him after they evaluate him. They’re so near a participant that like why would you even give that one up? I simply don’t prefer it.”
Curiously, the 2 analysts who by no means had a profession within the NBA – Michael Wilbon and Zach Lowe, applauded Embiid for his sort phrases and show of graciousness in direction of his rival.