After Dominant Season, Joel Embiid Named MVP for 2022-23 Campaign

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) celebrates win against the Portland Trail Blazers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

After two years of being on the doorstep, Joel Embiid finally broke through. He was officially announced as the NBA’s Most Valuable Player for the 2022-23 season. Embiid was the first Philadelphia 76ers player to win the MVP since Allen Iverson did it in the 2000-2001 season. He is expected to be presented with the award before Game 3 of the Sixers-Celtics series on Friday.

Embiid beat out fellow MVP finalists Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks and Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets. In a race that was tight for much of the way, Embiid ended up running away with it. He received 73 out of 100 possible first-place votes.

Embiid was dominant all season long. He led the league in scoring, averaging 33.1 points per game on career-high 54.8% shooting from the field. He was the first center to win the scoring title in consecutive seasons since Bob McAdoo did it from 1974-1976. The big fella had 13 games of 40-plus points and three games with 50-plus points, highlighted by a career-high 59 point performance against the Utah Jazz in November. Embiid rounded out his stat line averaging 10.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.7 blocks and 1.0 steals per game.

Embiid was the backbone for the Sixers this season, pushing them to a third-place finish in the Eastern Conference. His exploits played a large role in why the team finished inside the top-10 in both offensive and defensive rating.

The journey Embiid went on since being drafted in 2014 to now is extraordinary. He missed the first two years of his career due to foot injuries. Beginning in the 2016-17 season, he was finally able to step onto the court and start making an impact for the Sixers. In the years since, he grew his game and reached all new heights, now including an MVP award. All that is left now is to focus on successfully finishing out the Sixers’ playoff run this season.