First off, let me begin by saying congratulations to Joel Embiid. I know things are a little awkward for yours truly given that his Sixers just embarrassed my beloved Celtics on their home floor to open up their series, but let's not focus on that right now. Embiid was a deserving winner and it's good that he finally got one given how dominant he's been over these last few years. There was no real bad option between Embiid/Jokic/Giannis, so it's not like anyone was robbed. I'm just glad the brutal MVP discourse from this season is finally over.
What I did find interesting was the voting results. All year we were told this was going to be one of the closest races in history, and the final results were pretty much a bloodbath. This was not close.
Now admittedly I'm not a huge math guy, but something immediately stood out to me.
There are 100 ballots for these things, so let's do a little math
99 is not 100, so what does this mean? It means that there is someone out there that left Nikola Jokic COMPLETELY off their MVP ballot.
The only thing I can think of is that person is a Philly beat reporter or a Philly media person, and if that's the case I get it. The game is the game when you're trying to get your guy the MVP. But if it isn't?
You can think someone else was the MVP, as we saw there were plenty of worthy candidates. But to not have Jokic on your ballot anywhere in the top 5 is rather insane. The only exception is if it's a Philly person but if it isn't, that voter's privileges need to be revoked immediately because it's clear they are not serious. Obviously, the results were so lopsided it didn't matter, but imagine a world in which it did? That would have been chaos. It feels to me like this voter just wanted to be different for the sake of being different and that's kind of lame. Voters should take this shit seriously, and leaving Jokic off your ballot entirely is the exact opposite of that.
I mean even Ja Morant got a vote!
This is kind of like when 8 people left Giannis off the ballot in 2021. That made no sense either. The beauty of all this though is the NBA releases the voting results, so we'll know who it is at some point. RIP to that person's mentions is all I'll say to that. That's some Grade A hating if I've ever seen it, which is why my gut says it has to be someone tied to Philly which again, is fair game.
It's going to be interesting to see now that Embiid has won it, will he break the recent MVP curse? No MVP since Steph Curry in 2015-16 made the Finals, and no MVP has won the title since Curry the year prior. Of the last 5 MVPs, only Giannis (2019) and Harden (2018) even made the Conference Finals. Embiid's situation is a little different given his injury and it being unknown when we'll see him again, but it's something to keep an eye on as these playoffs roll on.