Kevin Durant Reveals Pick For 2022 NBA MVP Race

Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets, NBA Playoffs
NBA Analysis Network

This year the NBA is going to have some hotly contested races to take home regular-season accolades. It is going to be very difficult narrowing down selections for the All-NBA and All-Defensive teams. Individual awards are going to have some razor-thin margins as well.

The NBA MVP award has a chance to be one of the closest in league history. Right now the odds on favorite is Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets. Jokic won the MVP award last season and looks like he is on his way to doing so again.

Right behind him in the rankings is Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers. Embiid has been in the running previously, but injuries put a damper on his case. This season, he was able to stay healthy, playing in a career-high 68 games. The only time this season that he missed consecutive games was when he landed in the league’s health and safety protocols, prompting him to miss nine games.

There is no real wrong choice when it comes to the MVP award this season. Both players are deserving and there are others around the league, such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic and Ja Morant, that may receive some votes as well.

LATEST NBA NEWS: NBA MVP Race 2022: Jokic Reveals Honest Thoughts About Embiid

But, if it were up to Kevin Durant, it would be Joel Embiid taking home the hardware this year. Durant, who won the award himself for his performance during the 2013-14 season, believes Embiid’s performance this season is the best among the candidates vying for the award.

He revealed his selection and some insight into the voting after a walkthrough on Tuesday before the Nets defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Play-In Tournament that night. The narratives around the NBA MVP award are something that Kevin Durant believes is hampering Embiid and that shouldn’t be the case.

“It’s unfortunate,” Durant said. “There’s a lot of players that have been controlled by their narrative. Some of it has been because of the player, some of it just has been because of the perception of other people about that player. In Joel’s case, more people just like (Giannis Antetokounmpo) and (Nikola Jokic). It’s as simple as that. They just prefer them more than Embiid’s personality or his story, I guess.”

LATEST NBA NEWS: NBA MVP Race 2022: Jokic Reveals Honest Thoughts About Embiid

“As a basketball player, people that look at just the game and what happens on the floor, narratives and who you are and your personality, that stuff really doesn’t matter,” Durant said. “It shouldn’t matter when it comes down to awards like that. But [with] Joel, [voters] probably just like those other guys better than you personally. That’s not fair at all, but that’s just usually how it goes sometimes. But if I had a vote, I would choose Joel.”

Kevin Durant certainly makes some interesting points when talking about the NBA MVP award. He believes that for a player to win the award back-to-back seasons, something extraordinary has to be done. Nikola Jokic did improve in some areas, and a lot of advanced stats do have him atop the league, but as he points out, Embiid is right there with him in most categories.

LATEST NBA NEWS: NBA MVP Race 2022: Jokic Reveals Honest Thoughts About Embiid

Joel Embiid will need a little bit of luck when it comes to winning the award this year, but even if he doesn’t take home the trophy, it shouldn’t detract from the incredible performances he put forth game in and game out throughout the season.

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