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With the 2023 NBA season approaching, fans and bettors have seen the MVP contender list narrow to a certain few. Leading the NBA in scoring with just a few games remaining, Joel Embiid is the favorite to take home to award in 2023.
Odds taken from PointsBet, updated on 28 March 2023
|Joel Embiid||Philadelphia 76ers||-105|
|Nikola Jokic||Denver Nuggets||+115|
|Giannis Antetokounmpo||Milwaukee Bucks||+400|
|Jayson Tatum||Boston Celtics||+10000|
The 2022-23 NBA season has been one of the most exciting in recent memory, and the season's best players have revealed themselves.
The 2023 NBA MVP winner will be the 28th in the award's history. The prize winner will be named once the regular season schedule has concluded. Last season saw Nikola Jokic win his second Most Valuable Player award.
While individual ability is important, how well a player leads his team to success is also crucial in their evaluation for the award. Their star-like quality, on top of their ability to lead a competitive team, always helps their case.
Let's answer some of the most critical questions about the NBA MVP Award!
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Despite being one of the league's best players for multiple seasons, Joel Embiid has been in the shadow of his peers. One of the NBA's most dominant two-way forces, Embiid has positioned himself as the public's favorite to be the league's Most Valuable Player.
For another season, Joel Embiid has led his Philadelphia 76ers to one of the top seeds in the Eastern Conference - but not the number one seed in the East. Embiid is leading the NBA in scoring this season with 33.3 points per game, but his production has yet to carry the Sixers to a place among the best teams in the NBA.
The narrative has been the focus of this year's NBA Most Valuable Player race, as production alone doesn't do enough to separate the top candidates. Embiid isn't our pick to win the MVP award in 2023, but his numbers certainly present him as such.
Nikola Jokic has already proven to be one of the most dominant forces in NBA history, as evidenced by his back-to-back Most Valuable Player awards in 2021 and 2022. Posting another record-breaking season while also leading his Denver Nuggets to the top seed in the West, Jokic's bid for MVP is hard to argue against.
There are only two players to average a triple-double through an entire NBA season, and Nikola Jokic is just 0.1 assists off his average from becoming the third. Ranking in the top five in rebounds per game and assists per game, Jokic's numbers are that of a Most Valuable Player winner.
The last time a player won Most Valuable Player three times in a row was Larry Bird from 1984 to 1986. Having led the Nuggets to first in the Western Conference while putting up unprecedented numbers, especially in his position, Jokic winning MVP for a third consecutive time is undoubtedly plausible.
After winning the NBA's Most Valuable Player award for two consecutive seasons in 2020 and 2021, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put himself in the running to win the prize for a third time. Leading his Milwaukee Bucks back to the top of the Eastern Conference while remaining among the best scorers in the NBA, Antetokounmpo is a serious MVP candidate.
The Milwaukee Bucks star is averaging a career-high in points this season, despite his other stats dropping. Most impressively, Antetokounmpo has carried the Bucks to the top seed in the East and back into NBA Championship contention.
The last three-time MVP was Larry Bird, who won his award with the Boston Celtics. Just on the outside of the running for Most Valuable Player, we don't see Antetokounmpo winning MVP this year.
Coming off of an impressive run to the NBA Finals in the 2022 NBA Playoffs, Jayson Tatum bounced back this year and proved himself to be one of the league's best players. Having already won this year's All-Game MVP award while also breaking the All-Star game scoring record, Tatum has his eyes on the league's Most Valuable Player award.
Tatum has been setting individual records all year, ranked fourth in the league in points per game, fourth among guards, and first in rebounds among guards. Despite being unable to carry the Celtics to first in the Eastern Conference, Tatum is the league's fastest-growing star.
Unfortunately for Tatum, his career season doesn't quite match up to the top contenders for most Valuable Player. Count on him making the NBA First Team at the end of the season, but Tatum's chances at an individual award lie in his Celtics' playoff run.
Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets won his second NBA Most Valuable Player Award in 2022. Jokic is the lowest-drafted player ever to win MVP, having been drafted 41st overall in 2014, and the lowest to ever win the award twice!
In his fourth consecutive All-Star season, Jokic led his team to the NBA Playoffs. Unfortunately, the eventual champion Golden State Warriors eliminated them in the first round. In his MVP-winning season, Jokic averaged 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 7.9 assists.
Jokic won his 2022 NBA MVP award by narrower margins than his 2021 win. He won 65 first-place votes compared to 91 last year. He was still the clear winner, with second place's Joel Embiid garnering 26 first-place votes and third place's Giannis Antetokounmpo winning nine first-place votes.
The winner of the NBA MVP Award doesn’t receive a prize per se. They are awarded the Maurice Podoloff Trophy, but there are none in terms of cash incentives or bonuses.
It is written in many players’ team contracts that they receive a bonus upon receiving the award, but that is subject to the terms of the team agreement and not the NBA organization.
In a less direct sense, the NBA MVP in the current climate would be awarded much more exposure, the opportunity for endorsements, and nationally broadcasted matches for his team. The most accurate prize for the NBA MVP Award winner is that their name is written in history as one of the greatest ever to play the game.
No, fans of the NBA do not have a say in who will be awarded the NBA MVP. Unlike All-Star voting, the NBA MVP Award is voted upon by a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters across the United States and Canada.
Fan votes are reserved for the NBA All-Star Game, where they make up 50% of the total. Votes by current NBA players and a panel of media members account for 25% each.
The voting process for the NBA MVP Award is as follows: Media members can award a player of their choice a “vote” from first place, worth ten points, to fifth place, worth one point. The player with the highest points total wins the award.
In 2015-2016, Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player. It was the first time in history that a player was unanimously voted the NBA MVP. A unanimous vote means that Curry received all available votes among the voting parties.
Shaquille O’Neal in 2000 and LeBron James in 2013 fell one vote short of a unanimous MVP selection.
The NBA Most Valuable Player of the Year Award winner will be named during the NBA Playoffs.
There is no set date for the award to be announced. But the winner has historically been named during a broadcast of Inside the NBA during the winner's scheduled playoff game - if they've qualified.
The first-ever winner of the NBA MVP was forward-center Bob Pettit in 1956, who played for the now-defunct St. Louis Hawks.
Pettit, an LSU alumnus and the second overall pick in the 1954 NBA Draft, won the NBA MVP Award in just his second season in the NBA. He won the award again in 1958, leading the St. Louis Hawks to the NBA Championship.
Bob Pettit was the original interior presence in the NBA. Pettit’s career stats are up there with the best of all time. His career averages of 26.4 points, 16.2 rebounds, and 3.0 assists on 43.6% shooting from the field justify his hall-of-fame place.
Yes! Two players have achieved the tremendous accomplishment of winning MVP as a rookie. Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors in 1960 and Wes Unseld of the Baltimore Bullets in 1969.It speaks to the overall skill level of the NBA that the feat has yet to be accomplished again in over 50 years.
The youngest player to win the NBA MVP award was Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls. At just 22 years old, the Chicagoan led his hometown Bulls to 62 wins and the best record in the Eastern Conference.Averaging 25.0 points, 7.7 assists, and 6.3 offensive box plus/minus, Rose was near unstoppable at the top of his game. Unfortunately, Rose’s career stalled due to injuries and re-injury.The oldest ever NBA MVP was Karl Malone, who won the award at 35 years old. The power forward is one of the best scorers to ever play the game, as he averaged 23.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 4.1 assists on 50.9% shooting from the field in his MVP season.Surprisingly, Malone was not named an All-Star during his MVP year.
The winner of the most NBA MVP awards in history is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He won the award six times (1971, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1980) over the course of his career, to go along with a number of other incredible basketball accomplishments.Not only did Abdul-Jabbar win five of nine available MVP Awards during the seventies, he is also a six-time NBA Champion. Surprisingly, Abdul-Jabbar won the most valuable player award only twice when the year coincided with him winning an NBA Championship.
Nine different NBA franchises have failed to produce an NBA MVP winner.Brooklyn NetsCharlotte HornetsDetroit PistonsIndiana PacersMemphis GrizzliesNew Orleans PelicansOrlando MagicToronto RaptorsDespite some fantastic individual seasons for players in these clubs, they are still looking for an MVP performance. The time could come sooner than the teams expect!
Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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