We all know Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler are good friends, dating back to their history as teammates in Philadelphia. So it’s always felt safe to assume that Butler would be one of the top stars in the league to support Embiid for this year’s NBA MVP award.
As Yahoo Sports’ Vincent Goodwill shared, Butler gave Embiid a glowing endorsement for MVP this week after the Sixers’ superstar defeated the Celtics with an utterly dominant 52-point display.
Upon hearing Joel Embiid put a 50 burger on the Celtics, Jimmy Butler: “Joel’s the MVP. He should’ve been MVP last year too.”— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) April 5, 2023
“Joel’s the MVP. He should’ve been MVP last year too,” Butler said.
You could spend days arguing with fans around the league about this year’s MVP race and whether or not Nikola Jokic deserved to win the award in each of the last two years. But with how incredible Embiid has been the last few seasons, and how close he’s come in each of the last two seasons to winning MVP, it sure feels like he at least deserves one from the dominant three-year stretch he’s had (as I’m sure everyone here at Liberty Ballers would agree).
Yet again this year, he’s been undeniably MVP level and the Sixers have a strong 52-27, third-place spot in the Eastern Conference to go with it.
Butler clearly feels the same way, as do other stars like Steph Curry as well. Embiid is garnering some major backing right now, and understandably so.
And with the way the narrative seems to be shifting in MVP discussions, Jokic and the Nuggets faltering a little more (for instance, a 124-103 loss to Houston on Tuesday certainly doesn’t help), betting odds shifting more in Embiid’s favor, and Embiid racking up countless impressive performances in recent weeks, his latest 52-point statement against Boston sure seems like it could be enough to finish moving Embiid into the MVP race lead.