“Joel Embiid is the baddest guy in the league right now”: Shaquille O’Neal explains why he picks the Cameroonian to win the MVP honors despite the Sixers position in the East

Shaquille O’Neal believes the MVP is a singular record and should be awarded to the player despite the team’s record. Shaq picks Joel Embiid to lift the prestigious trophy.

Joel Embiid is in the midst of the prime of his career. With Ben Simmons out of the line-up, the 76ers big man has been getting more freedom with the rock in his hands. And after a mediocre first few weeks in this 2021-2022 campaign, JoJo has gone on an absolute scoring rampage since late November.

Playing some dominant basketball, Embiid has been unstoppable. After averaging 29.2 points, 11.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.3 blocks in the month of December, the Cameroonian big man took his game to a whole new level this month. So far in the month of January, Embiid has been averaging an unreal 34.5 points, 10.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 1.5 blocks, which includes 12-straight 25+ point games.

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Amid his outstanding form, several analysts and former legends have selected the 7-footer as their pick for the 2022 MVP honors. Former legend Shaquille O’Neal is one of the many to think so.

“Hopefully the media doesn’t penalize Joel Embiid and goes with another guy who’s close and whose team has a better record”: Shaquille O’Neal

On a recent episode of Inside The NBA, Shaq stated his perception of what an MVP is. According to the former Lakers legend, the trophy should be awarded to the “baddest guy in the league” irrespective of the team’s record. And The Diesel picks Joel Embiid to be that “baddest guy” to win the MVP honors. O’Neal made his case:

“Over the last 15 years, it’s been unclear to me what the definition of the Most Valuable Player is. There’s some cocoons like Charles [Barkley] and Kenny [Smith] that say, ‘oh, this team has a better record, so this guy is MVP.’

I always thought the MVP was a singular award, which means you are the baddest guy in the league. And the baddest guy in the league right now is Joel Embiid. But there are others six players, so hopefully, the media doesn’t penalize Embiid and goes with another guy who’s close and whose team has a better record…”

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So far this season, Joel has been putting up 29/10.8/4.3 on an impressive 50/38/82 shooting split. In the NBA’s latest MVP ladder, the Philly leader has been ranked 3rd behind the likes of Jokic and Antetokounmpo. Joel needs to help the Sixers to rise up the standings if he hopes to strengthen his MVP case even more.

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