“Giannis Robbed”: Fans Divided After NBA Reportedly Leaks MVP Winner Between Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid

Published 05/07/2022, 9:00 AM EDT

The NBA may have shot themselves in the foot by inadvertently revealing the winner of the MVP award. Joel Embiid returned to the Philadelphia 76ers lineup, spearheading his team to a victory against the Miami Heat in Game 3. However, it was the post-game article on the league’s official website that truly drew fans in. 

Many fans spotted that the game’s description referred to Embiid as the “Kia MVP,” although the award has not yet been handed out. The sentence was visible on both the league’s mobile app and the home page of its postseason news website. Nikola Jokic appeared to be the MVP frontrunner after counting the votes that were publicly disclosed. However, if the leak is accurate, Joel Embiid will win his first MVP award.


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Traditionally, the NBA does not officially declare the winner until around or later in the NBA Finals. As a result, if accurate, revealing the winner so early on the league website would be a major blunder. And that too when the race for the coveted accolade is slated to be the tightest in recent years. 

This isn’t the first time something like this has transpired: In January, the NBA app accidentally revealed that LaMelo Ball had been named an All-Star, which turned out to be correct.

The article referred to Joel Embiid as the Kia MVP for around 30 minutes. Later, the term was changed to “Kia MVP finalist.” It’s likely, though, that the sentence was missing the word “finalist” from the get-go. However, this unnecessary error was bound to cause some unwanted controversy and attention. 

MVP race between Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo closest in recent history

This season’s MVP race has been one of the closest in recent memory. Throughout the season, Embiid and Nikola Jokic battled for the pole position, with Giannis Antetokounmpo, a two-time MVP, lurking in the shadows. Jokic was named MVP last season while Antetokounmpo took home the honor in 2019 and 2020. Embiid, on the other hand, is yet to win the award. 

Jokic or Embiid have been predicted by many to win the award, but Giannis is also backed by many to win his third MVP in four years. The apparently leaked announcement of the MVP winner, however, divided the fans. 


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Many had predicted Giannis to win the MVP award, but the narrative has shifted since the regular season finished. This is attributable to the fact that supporters and analysts are now focusing on the bigger picture when it comes to the NBA MVP.  


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Many believe Giannis’ stats this year are mediocre compared to his back-to-back MVP campaigns. The expectations are inevitably heightened for someone who has already claimed the accolade. Moreover, knowing Giannis, he’ll be more focused on the postseason than winning the MVP award. 


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However, nothing is confirmed, and with this being the closest MVP race in recent memory, nothing can be predicted. It’s still to be seen whether Jokic will go back-to-back or Embiid will win his maiden MVP. Or, maybe, Giannis will win his third MVP award, much to the amazement of most.



Ritvik Malhotra

38 articles

Ritvik is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Having completed his Bachelor's in Journalism and Mass Communication from Amity University, Ritvik has finally got his foot in the door as a professional sports writer. He previously interned at another media house where he authored over 150 soccer articles, but he is now writing about his primary obsession, basketball.