Doug Gottlieb: “There’s a difference between playing the Bulls on Wednesday night, playing the Hornets on any night, and playing the team with the MVP, AND you have a player who wants to be the MVP. This is the problem we have with most kids now— everybody wants the reward but do you actually want to do the work for the reward? I just don’t fathom any sort of way in which anybody who calls themselves a ‘competitor’, a guy who has won an award that you want to win the last two years, a guy you think you’re better than, and you sit when your team plays him? You had a day off in-between games, you had lost two in a row, you’re trying to figure what’s what before you get ready for the postseason, and the guy is trying to win an award. Embiid had 46 the other night against Golden State in a loss. If Embiid doesn’t win the award you got dudes like Kendrick Perkins saying it’s because of Jokic’s skin color, or other people saying it’s because of analytics. Or maybe just play? If you’re good enough we will all see it. If you’re better than him we will all see it. I’m not disputing that your calf hurts or your knee hurts, if the playoffs were playing last night would he have played? ‘Well, yeah.’ I don’t blame anybody if you don’t want to vote for Embiid because he didn’t play in a made-for-television event against Nikola Jokic. Where is your competitive drive if you’re not going to play in that game? Jokic isn’t going to play in every game but he is when Embiid is in town. How could you not? Are we taking the competitiveness out of these guys or are they just not as competitive as we think they are? If you’re really a competitor, you sit there and go ‘I’m not hurt, I’m just hurting, I’m a little sore, I wanna play, I wanna kick his ass, I want to win the award.’ Last night he could have won the award, and the thing you do by not playing is open up the possibility of losing the MVP. The only thing you could open yourself up to is criticism if you don’t play, and that’s OK if 1) you don’t want to be a competitor, or 2) if you don’t want to win the award. If the award doesn’t mean anything to you, that’s also fine. I’m OK if that’s the answer. But please don’t tell me you want to win this award, ‘I’m the best player in the league’, but you don’t play in that game? Who does that? They’re East and West, you just get two shots to play him. What are we doing here?” (Full Segment Above)
Listen to Doug Gottlieb of Fox Sports Radio call out Joel Embiid for sitting out the Sixers’ Monday night showdown vs. Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets, which was being billed as a possible winner-take-all game for the NBA's Most Valuable Player Award.
Check out the segment above as Gottlieb says he has no problem with a player sitting out a game if they think it will be give them a better chance of being healthy for the postseason, but says then don’t whine and complain when you don’t win the MVP because you no-showed vs. a rival MVP candidate in a game that you knew voters were watching.