Joel Embiid MVP Repeat In Danger Due To NBA Rest Rule

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Denver Nuggets v Philadelphia 76ers
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 16: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts during the third quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Wells Fargo Center on January 16, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Embiid can only miss 7 games for the rest of the season to remain eligible for the award.

Joel Embiid can miss no more than seven of the Sixers' remaining 43 games in order to be eligible for MVP this season. Due to a spate of injuries, Embiid has played 29 of the Sixers' 39 games this season. However, due to load management rules implemented in the offseason, Embiid needs to play in 65 games to be eligible for all major awards. This means that Embiid must play in at least 36 of the team's remaining games to be eligible for the award he is currently the frontrunner for.

"The goal is to be ready for the playoffs. If I can't meet the criteria of 65 games … as long as I'm ready to be dominant in that time in April, that's all I care about," Embii told reporters following the Sixers win over Houston on January 15. The 65-game rule was implemented as the NBA looked to curb the amount of big-game talent missing games due to "load management". As part of continued efforts to tackle load management, the league recently released a report indicating that the practice did not actually lower the likelihood of long-term injuries.

Embiid In Line For All-Star Nod

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 16: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts during the fourth quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Wells Fargo Center on January 16, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James remained the top vote-getters in the final round of publicly released fan voting for the NBA All-Star Game. Giannis led overall, the only player to have surpassed four million votes at the time of writing. However, LeBron wasn't too far behind at 3.93 million. The next closest player to four million is Embiid, who sits at 3.72 million voters.

Voting closes this weekend and the All-Star starters will be announced on January 25. If trends stay as they are, LeBron, Nikola Jokic, Kevin Durant, Luka Doncic, and Steph Curry would start in the West. Meanwhile, Giannis, Embiid, Jayson Tatum, Tyrese Haliburton, and Trae Young would start in the East. The All-Star Game itself takes place on February 18 in Indianapolis.

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About The Author
Benjamin Mock (they/them) is a sports and culture writer working out of Philadelphia. Previously writing for the likes of Fixture, Dexerto, Fragster, and Jaxon, Ben has dedicated themselves to engaging and accessible articles about sports, esports, and internet culture. With a love for the weirder stories, you never quite know what to expect from their work.