May 19, 2022
Philadelphia’s City Council decided to give Joel Embiid an MVP award Thursday morning.
But rather than the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award that the superstar center for the Philadelphia 76ers hoped to win this year — he wound up finishing second behind Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic — he’ll have to be satisfied with being named Philadelphia’s “Most Valuable Philadelphian.”
When the resolution was introduced during the city council’s meeting Thursday morning, there were audible laughs on the live stream video. It was then added that the resolution had been put forward “prior to the conclusion of the season,” as the 76ers lost in six games to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals last week — the fourth time in five years the 76ers have lost at that stage of the playoffs.
“In spite of the results of the tournament, I enthusiastically move for the adoption of the resolution,” councilman Curtis Jones Jr. said.
The resolution was quickly seconded, and then passed unanimously.
“A little levity never hurts,” City Council President Darrell L. Clarke said, concluding the discussion.
Embiid had the best season of his career, playing a career-high 68 games and leading the league in scoring at 30.6 points per game. His playoffs, however, were hampered by first a torn ligament in his right shooting thumb that he suffered in Game 3 of Philadelphia’s first round series against the Toronto Raptors, and then a facial fracture and concussion he suffered in Game 6 after being hit in the head with an inadvertent elbow by Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam.
Those injuries caused Embiid to miss the first two games of the Miami series, and forced him to play wearing a mask upon his return in Game 3.