For the first time in his twenty-year career, LeBron James did not earn any MVP votes. Despite breaking the NBA's all-time scoring record this season, the news shocked many after his name was nowhere to be found on this year's MVP list. So who did score the coveted title for this season?
Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid took home the prestigious title for the 2022-2023 NBA MVP this year, earning 73 first-place votes. The Most Valuable Player award is determined at the end of the regular season by a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters and announced during the playoffs. The panel contains 100 voters, all selected by the NBA, with each person submitting a ballot with their top five choices, and the player with the most total points wins. The winner is chosen based on the player's personal success and statistics, the team's success, and overall influence on the league. The last two awards went to Nikola Jokić of the Denver Nuggets, and the year before, Giannis Antetokounmpo from the Milwaukee Bucks took home the award. This year, Jokić earned second place with 15 points, and Antetokounmpo took home third with 12 points.
However, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James was surprisingly absent from the ballot this year. This season, he averaged 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game in the regular season and even brought the Lakers back into the playoffs, but even with these statistics, he didn't manage to make the ballot. However, the 38-year-old NBA legend is a four-time MVP holder, winning in 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013, with four runner-up finishes. Considering it took 20 seasons for James not to be included in the MVP conversation is pretty unbelievable.
However, we gotta give it up to Joel Embiid, this year's MVP winner. According to the 76ers center, it's been his dream since he started playing basketball to take home the award. With two runner-up titles, Embiid was finally voted first, an extremely proud moment for the Cameroon native. "I do care in the way that it validates everything, all the work that you've put in. And to be sitting here is just amazing," he said following the announcement. The 29-year-old averaged 33.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game this season.