Joel Embiid says there’s no rivalry with Nikola Jokic: “I love the big fella”

2023-01-29T12:16:00+00:00 2023-01-29T12:16:33+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

29/Jan/23 12:16

Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic clashed last night as the Sixers beat the Nuggets.

By Eurohoops Team/

Joel Embiid was the winner in his latest clash against Nikola Jokic with 47 points, 18 rebounds and five assists to lead the Philadelphia 76ers past the Denver Nuggets 126 – 119 Saturday (28/1).

While it seems that this battle was also a bit personal for Embiid, especially since Jokic has been the back-to-back NBA MVP, the Sixers star denied such a notion.

“I don’t,” Embiid answered when asked how personally he takes this matchup. “It’s not a rivalry. I love the big fella. Two-time MVP, one of the best players in the league. He’s such a good player. I’m a big fan.”

Jokic had 24 points (on 8-12 shots) eight rebounds and nine assists in an otherwise pretty performance that was overshadowed by Embiid’s dominance.

It was quite the statement performance by Embiid not only due to the ongoing contest between him and Jokic for the 2023 NBA MVP race but also in the aftermath of the All-Star game voting.

Embiid wasn’t voted as a starter in the Eastern Conference despite putting up 33.8 points, 10.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists. He had some heavy competition since Giannis Antetokounmpo (1st and team captain), Kevin Durant (2nd) and Jayson Tatum (3rd) are also having MVP-Caliber season but it felt like a snub to him.

“I keep getting disrespected and it’s cool,” Embiid commented.