Kendrick Perkins: Joel Embiid is 'Ducking That Smoke' By Missing Matchup With Nikola Jokic

Nikola Jokic
Nikola Jokic / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

Monday night was supposed to serve as one final referendum on the NBA MVP race with the Philadelphia 76ers stopping off in Denver to take on the Nuggets. We were supposed to get Joel Embiid v. Nikola Jokic and learn all sorts about both players in the process. The MVP is a season-long award but people have short memories and whoever played better Monday night would could have ended up the winner.

Embiid, for his part, seemed to recognize that and decided to speak his mind to Shams Charania in an interview that dropped on Monday morning. Embiid insisted he did not care about winning MVP before complaining about why he hasn't won it before and took a handful of thinly-veiled shots at Jokic. Here are a few highlights:

You get the gist. While Embiid and Jokic appear friendly enough off the court, the man nicknamed The Process is obviously getting frustrated with MVP voting.

Sadly, all this talk was for naught as the Sixers ruled Embiid out hours before his anticipated matchup with Jokic thanks to a calf injury. It is the smart move for a team that is trying to make a deep playoff run, especially given Embiid's lengthy injury history, but it also sucks for all of us and makes Embiid look a bit bad for spouting all that then not backing it up.

At least that is what Kendrick Perkins thinks, and he has a lot of opinions about MVP this year. As we well know. On Monday's NBA Today, Perkins said Embiid was "ducking that smoke" by missing Monday night's game.

It is, indeed, a tough game to miss. If it were up to Embiid he'd assuredly suit up. But it is not. The long game is more important than the short game in this day and age. It's just a tough look for this to unfold in the way that it did.