Joel Embiid Focused on Winning a Championship, Says MVP Is 'out of my control'

Joel Embiid finished second in this year's MVP voting, receiving just one first-place ballot to Nikola Jokic's 91. However, despite dubbing himself the MVP back in April, the four-time All-Star has made peace with the results and is fixated on a different trophy — the Larry O'Brien.

According to Justin Grasso, who covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated, Embiid is disappointed in not winning the coveted award because of the amount of work he's put in but understands that individual accolades have never been the goal. The all-world big man wants to seize the moment, as the 76ers are poised for a deep playoff run.

There are only some things I can control, Embiid explained. Obviously, as a team, we had a good year, and I was a part of it. It’s disappointing because, as a player, you work hard for moments like this. Then again, it’s out of my control, and there’s nothing I can do about it. I just got to come out every year, and you know, just be ready and do my job. I’m focused on the playoffs. I’m focused on winning a championship. Like I’ve been saying all season, we got a good chance. I’m not worried about these awards and stuff. If and when I’m holding that trophy, anything else won’t matter.

On a minute-by-minute basis, it's hard to argue against Embiid for MVP. He averaged 28.5 points, 10.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game during the regular season. Unfortunately, he missed a slew of games, playing in only 51, while Jokic participated in every contest while putting up 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds and 8.3 assists. Jokic is the first MVP since Kobe Bryant in 2008 to play in every regular-season game.

76ers head coach Doc Rivers echoed the sentiment of games missed being the deciding factor in the year's MVP race.

Listen, there’s a lot of great, great candidates, Doc Rivers said. Between Jokic and Joel, I think it was a two-man race, I guess you can say Steph (Curry) was thrown in there at the end the way he made a charge and just so many great players in our league. I do think probably the deciding factor was games played.

Embiid's mission to bring a championship back to the city of brotherly love is in full force; he's arguably been the most dominant player in this year's playoffs. Excluding Game 4 of his first-round series against the Wizards — he exited that game in the first quarter — Embiid is averaging 33.4 points on an astounding 60% from the field, 47% from beyond the arc and 85% from the line. 

He'll look to lead the 76ers to a Game 3 win over the Hawks on Friday.

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports