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Pitting Joel Embiid Against Nikola Jokic, Celtics Legends Dish Out the Real Value of League MVP Title: “…Not Always the Best Player”

Published 08/15/2023, 9:50 PM EDT

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In a podcast, Boston Celtics legends discuss the value of the MVP title in the league. As players with one Finals MVP and one Regular season MVP between them, they discussed the actual importance of the award. Joel Embiid’s self-proclamation that he is the best player, even though Nikola Jokic was the MVP, sparked the conversation. The league gives the MVP title to the player who performs the best. One season’s results determine the title of MVP rather than the long-term consistency. Legends say that the league’s MVP is not the greatest player in the league, but rather a player who performed best in that season. 

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This discussion sheds light on different real-life scenarios to explain to the viewers the actual idea behind the MVP title.

Distinguishing MVP from best player: The complexity of titles


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In a podcast, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce discuss Joel Embiid’s self-proclamation that he is the best player in the league, even though Nikola Jokic was the league’s MVP. This led the two legends to discuss their perspective on this topic and their thoughts about the title. Garnett discusses the complexity of the title, citing the difference between the MVP and the best player overall. Pierce referred to the past when Derrick Rose won the MVP during the prime years of LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. 

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 “This is the argument we had a lot of years because think about this just because you’re the most valuable player don’t make you the best player because, like when say like when Derrick Rose won MVP, LeBron was the best player, or Kobe was the best player.”


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Garnett further added to this discussion, 

 “People equate the most valuable as the best player.” 

The conversation delved into the nuanced nature of MVP awards, highlighting that while they indicate value to a team, they don’t always correspond to being the definitive best player. The discourse emphasized the intricate interplay between value and excellence in the realm of professional basketball.


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Nuances of MVP vs. best player: Acknowledging depth

Derrick Rose was the hottest player in the league in 2010. His explosiveness, ability to make space, and basketball IQ set him apart. People regarded him as the heir to the great Michael Jordan. Rose won the Rookie of the Year in his first season in the NBA. He made an immediate impact on the Chicago Bulls team. 

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In his sophomore year, Derrick Rose won the league MVP with 25 ppg, 7.7 assists, and 1 steal per game. Rose made news during the 2010-2011 season by becoming the youngest player to win the MVP title. He won above players like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Tim Duncan, all of them in their prime. Not to detract from Rose, but that’s what Garnett and Pierce meant when they stated the league’s MVP isn’t always its best player. The league was stacked with legends in the 2010-11 season.

What do you think of Embiid’s comments about him being the best in the League? Or do you agree with Garnett’s comments? Let us know down below.

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Written by:

Amey Dhume


One take at a time

Amey is an NBA content writer at EssentialySports. As an NBA enthusiast, Amey closely follows the league and stays updated on the latest happenings. With a background as a state-level basketball player, he brings a unique perspective to his writing about the sport.
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Edited by:

Sameen Nawathe