It's best to not take Joel Embiid entirely seriously. More than most MVP candidates, and he's in that discussion this season, Embiid realizes the unimportance of most off-the-court matters. When most everything can be construed as a joke, the tension inherent to contests of athleticism lessens. That's likely why he got in a dig at Jazz big man Rudy Gobert after Philly's dominant 114-97 win over them Thursday night.

Since regular season hardware appears to be a thing for this year's Sixers squad, despite efforts to convince otherwise, it's worth mentioning Gobert got 89 of the possible 101 first-place votes for Defensive Player of the Year last season. And that Embiid, though he finished second in voting, didn't even have the second-most number of first-place votes (that would be Anthony Davis with five). 

Gobert's DPOY award is all the more remarkable because he appeared in seven fewer games (just 56 on the season!) than the formerly fragile Sixers center. But we just took Joel seriously, forgetting that Embiid's tongue remains firmly in his cheek. He knows Gobert's game lives up to last season's hardware, it's just more entertaining this way.


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