HomeBasketball TodayJokic Slams NBA's 65-Game Rule Following Embiid's Injury

Jokic Slams NBA’s 65-Game Rule Following Embiid’s Injury

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While it’ll help the Nuggets star’s MVP chance, Nikola Jokic isn’t happy with how the NBA’s new rules affect Joel Embiid.

The NBA MVP race is in full swing. Up until February, the MVP race was neck and neck between Denver NuggetsNikola Jokic and Philadelphia 76ersJoel Embiid. Unfortunately, Embiid was disqualified from winning the award due to a new NBA policy.

In early February, Embiid suffered a knee injury that required him to have surgery to repair his lateral meniscus. Per the new NBA policy, players are required to play in a minimum of 65 games in order to be considered for any awards like the league MVP. There is a chance Embiid does return later in the season, but he will have missed too many games by then to win the MVP award.

Embiid was also absent from the 2024 NBA All-Star game. The next potential candidates to win the MVP award, Jokic and Oklahoma City Thunder’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, were in attendance. While Jokic obviously benefits from Embiid’s disqualification, he still spoke out against the new policy, via Bennett Durando of The Denver Post.

“Definitely forcing players to play, even when they’re injured or whatever,” Jokic said. “But we saw what happened with Joel. … I don’t know. I just don’t like it, how it forces players to play even if they’re injured, if they want to achieve something.”

Read also:   Can the Celtics Keep Their Momentum Post-All-Star Break?

Gilgeous-Alexander, now Jokic’s biggest challenger to the MVP award, also had mixed feelings about the policy.

“I’m not too sure. I think no matter what, there’s like a fine line,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “Like, when it comes down to it, there’s always a fine line in games played and availability. And I think the league has the right intention in trying to make that line a little bit bolder and easier to make a decision.”

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