Skip Bayless Photo credit: FS1

Joel Embiid wants to win the NBA MVP this season, but if he doesn’t, the Philadelphia 76ers star can only assume it means the media hates him.

“If it happens, great,” Embiid said about the possibility of winning his first MVP. “If it doesn’t, I don’t know what I have to do. I’ll feel like they hate me. I feel like the standard for guys in Philly or for me is different than everyone else.”

Fox Sports host Skip Bayless has previously supported Embiid’s case for MVP, but he blasted the 28-year-old All-Star’s recent tactics, warning him against getting into a media spat over the award.

“I’m obviously a big fan of Joel Embiid and I’m here to give him my two cents of advice. This was wrong, wronger, and wrongest,” Bayless ranted on Undisputed. “You cannot bite the hands that have been feeding you, you cannot shame them into [voting for you]. Did the season end yesterday? You’ve got four games left and by the way, you, Philadelphia have the second-easiest schedule…Bring it on home, big man.”

Embiid carried Philadelphia through the Ben Simmons drama this season, but Bayless believes voters will justly focus on the Sixers being less than stellar since adding James Harden at the trade deadline.

“James Harden comes to your team and the media says ‘that is the greatest perimeter scorer we have ever seen in the history of the league,’” Bayless explained. “Did they take off and win the next 20 games in a row? They went 13-7 since James joined. It’s okay but it’s not great. It’s the eighth-best record in basketball since James joined. Can you sell that to voters? You can’t.”

Currently, last year’s MVP, Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic is the favorite to win the award again, with Embiid not far behind, and Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo in third.

The NBA MVP award is voted on by a group of sportswriters and broadcasters. While there certainly is media bias when it comes to award and hall-of-fame voting in sports, there isn’t a precedent for unfair treatment of Embiid or Philadelphia with the NBA MVP. Despite Embiid’s concern, a media bias against the large east coast market in favor of smaller cities like Denver and Milwaukee doesn’t quite add up.


About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to