Either Jalen Rose has two votes for NBA MVP, or he was just attempting to troll Stephen A. Smith and Michael Wilbon Sunday afternoon on ESPN.
In a span of about 24 hours, Rose declared Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid were both getting his vote for NBA MVP, a debate that has been particularly tense this season. During ESPN’s pregame show Sunday afternoon, Stephen A. Smith and Michael Wilbon both stated they were voting for Embiid. Wilbon even noted he already turned in his ballot. Rose followed Smith and Wilbon by stating he was voting for Antetokounmpo.
“Both of these basketball icons, Stephen A. Smith and Michael Wilbon, just validated why I’m voting for Giannis,” Rose said. “We always say, reward the best player – Giannis – on the best team – Giannis – The only player to ever average 30, 10 and 5, my vote.”
Rose proceeded to tout Antetokounmpo for leading the Milwaukee Bucks to the top record in the Eastern Conference despite being without Khris Middleton for most of the season, while Embiid’s Philadelphia 76ers finished third. All fair points. But in a video he posted to Twitter Monday afternoon, Rose had a total about-face toward Embiid and made no mention of the fact that he already supported Antetokounmpo on national TV.
— Nathan Marzion (@nathanmarzion) April 10, 2023
“Without further ado, my choice is Joel Embiid,” Rose said in a Twitter video Monday afternoon. “I think he was the most complete and most dominant in every phase.”
Was Rose just attempting to add some spice to the conversation with Smith and Wilbon during their NBA MVP conversation Sunday afternoon? It would make more sense if Rose flip-flopped after an appearance on First Take, where they relish someone who plays the role of devil’s advocate, but ESPN’s NBA pregame show isn’t under the same debate format.
I’m all for giving a sports analyst or host the ability to reassess and alter a previous opinion based on new information, but nothing changed from the time Rose selected Antetokounmpo for MVP and flipped to Embiid. It’s one thing if Rose declared he was going to vote for Antetokounmpo in February or March and then announced he was changing his vote to Embiid upon further review at season’s end. But in the 24-hour span of time that caused Rose to flip flop from Antetokounmpo to Embiid, neither player played a minute and neither of their teams changed seeding in the Eastern Conference.