Joel Embiid palmed Nikola Jokic’s head and whispered into his ear with the highest of praise one MVP could tell another in the aftermath of an epic showdown.
Embiid told Jokic that his counterpart was “the best player in the league.”
With good reason: Jokic does have an NBA Finals MVP and a championship ring. Embiid is doing his best to chase him down.
Embiid had 41 points and 10 assists to lead the Philadelphia 76ers past Jokic and the Denver Nuggets 126-121 on Tuesday night in a battle of the last two NBA MVP s.
Jokic held up his end of a heavyweight showdown with 25 points and 19 rebounds, including 11 offensive boards.
“It’s funny, because Twitter, we have a war going on between Philly fans and Denver fans,” Embiid said. “It’s funny because both of us are just like, who cares? We want to play basketball and win some games. But he deserves (the praise). Until you knock him down, that’s the best in the league. He’s the finals MVP. Until you take that away, he can claim that.
“But then again, I also believe in myself.”
Tyrese Maxey scored 25 points and Tobias Harris had 24 for the Sixers.