Joel Embiid returned from an injury and he's playing at the same level he was before getting hurt, which is why he's convinced he's still one of the frontrunners to win the 2021 NBA MVP award this season. But, as he stated before, that's not his only goal in the NBA, he wants to be an impactful player on both ends of the ball.
During a recent interview on ESPN's "Stephen A's World," the Cameroonian big man doubled down on his desire to win MVP and DPOY awards, something that only a handful of players have done in 75 years of the NBA. JoJo revealed that he wants to get both awards at the same season but understands that his teammate Ben Simmons has a better case for the DPOY this campaign (6:22).
“I’ve always wanted to be like Hakeem and MJ, or Giannis last year to win MVP and Defensive Player of the Year. But I have a lot of years in the league, and at some point, that is something I wanna do. But when it comes to it, I hope he (Ben) wins it.”
Last year, Giannis Antetokounmpo became only the third player to win both the MVP and the DPOY in the same season, emulating what Michael Jordan (1987-88) and Hakeem Olajuwon (1993-94) did with the Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets, respectively. Only two more players accomplished this feat but they win each title in separate seasons.
Embiid has big aspirations for his career and this isn't something he can't do. He's already playing at an MVP level and if he puts the same effort on the defensive end, he could have a big case to win the other award in the future. However, the league has other big defenders that will put a big fight to him, but this man is one of those players that can do anything he wants when focused.