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George Karl's Reasoning Against Joel Embiid Winning The MVP Being "Body Language" Is Further Proof That The MVP Debate Is Breaking People's Brains

Jesse D. Garrabrant. Getty Images.

It feels like I've written this exact blog no fewer than 10,000 times this season. I wish I didn't have to, but each and every day we get more and more insane takes when it comes to this year's MVP race that it cannot be avoided. Sometimes it's Perk going on TV and saying outrageous things. Sometimes it's Zach Lowe talking about how apparently kick ball violations are a bad thing or whatever

which at the time (6 days ago), I thought was maybe the most insane talking point when it comes to this debate. Kicked ball violations? Seriously?

But I'm afraid that for the moment, we have a new leader in the clubhouse and it comes from George Karl

OK, so it shouldn't really be a surprise that a legendary Denver Nuggets coach is riding with the guy who plays for the Denver Nuggets and to do that, has to slander his main competition in Joel Embiid. Welcome to the MVP debate in 2023. At this point I don't even care who wins between Jokic/Embiid/Giannis as all 3 have a legit case. It's part of the reason why if you are able to ignore all the bullshit and just focus on the basketball, these final 11ish games are going to be so awesome considering these teams play each other before the end of the season. 

At the same time, what keeps getting lost in this debate is simply telling the truth and talking about things that are actually real. I'm not sure how much George Karl is even watching Embiid this year, but I wouldn't even say these things have been an issue. Especially with the two way impact he's been making this season. And while I hate to share clear Philly MVP propaganda, it's hard for someone who watches all these guys play to suggest that Embiid takes plays off and Jokic apparently doesn't. As they say, the tape doesn't lie

So to then also add this weird subjective "body language" issue as one of your main points, I mean that isn't even real. Considering the run the Sixers have been on, what bad body language has there been? Even if there was, that makes someone not worthy of being the MVP? How's Jokic's body language been during the Nuggets' current slide? It all makes my brain hurt.


Perhaps the craziest part of ALL of this is if Karl's point is that Embiid can't be the MVP because of body language and taking plays off, well then isn't he actually explaining why Giannis should be the MVP? There is not a star player in the league who plays harder than Giannis every second he's on the floor. That's a guy who plays like his roster and spot in the rotation is in jeopardy every time he steps on the floor. It's part of why Giannis is a 1 of 1 player. All he knows is to go hard as hell at all times, on both ends of the floor.

I know we've had toxic MVP debates before, it's not like this is all that new, but I can't remember things ever getting to the level they are this season. Maybe that's me being a prisoner of the moment, but this is all so ridiculous. Each candidate has enough actual basketball reasoning to use in their MVP case, we don't need to talk about kicked ball violations or body language as a way to make a case for someone else. It's all so exhausting. 

Give it to Embiid, cool! Give it to Jokic, awesome! Give it to Giannis, well deserved! 

But shit like this just makes me so tired of the MVP race and it shouldn't be this way at this point of the season. How can this be what the NBA wants? It's arguably their biggest individual award outside of Finals MVP, and I think unless your favorite guy is in the race, the rest of us are simply waiting for this to be over and for the playoffs to start. That's kinda lame.