Joel Embiid was named the 2022-23 NBA Most Valuable Player

(CNN) Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers has been named the NBA Most Valuable Player for the 2022-23 season.

Embiid beat Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks and Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets in a battle between three NBA big men for the inaugural Michael Jordan Trophy.

Embiid averaged a league-high 33.1 points per game during the regular season to go along with 10.2 rebounds per game.

This is Embiid’s first career player of the year award, the first ever for a player from Cameroon and only the second time for a player from Africa. This is also the fifth consecutive season that an international player has won the award.

Embiid has missed the 76ers’ last two games with a knee injury and hasn’t played a game since April 20. 76 Lazra coach Doc Rivers said Tuesday that Embiid is considered “questionable” in Philadelphia’s second game against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference. Semi-finals on Wednesday.

The Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic and Boston Celtics’ Jason Tatum had previously led Kia’s race to the MVP ladder, but the pair’s performance fizzled at the end of the season – leaving the three players to battle it out. season.

Embiid has missed out on the MVP Trophy and a spot on the All-NBA First Team over the past two seasons, thanks to Jokić’s superiority and NBA voting stipulations.

It comes after the center topped the charts last year, becoming the first center player since four-time NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal to win the scoring title and the first center to top Moire by more than 30 points per game in 40 years — Embiid averaged 30.6 points.

Golden State Warriors guard Steve Curry previously said that jump is the reason Embiid was crowned MVP.

Asked by Bleacher Report about his selection for the award, the two-time MVP said, “I would say Joel (Embiid).”

“Joel took a leap that I think a lot of people didn’t expect because he was really dominant,” Curry continued. “That jump caught the eye and put (the Sixes) in a great position. If I had to choose, it would be him.”

CNN’s Thomas Schlachter contributed to this report.

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