76ers star Joel Embiid won't be playing on Monday night against Nikola Jokić and the Nuggets in what was touted as a matchup between two NBA MVP favorites.
While fans are disappointed they'll be missing out on the battle between the superstar bigs, Kendrick Perkins took things a bit further during a segment on ESPN's NBA Today.
Perkins accused Embiid of "ducking the smoke" when it comes to the matchup against Jokić, suggesting the big man "cannot sit out this game." The 38-year-old then went on to suggest that he, as an MVP voter, will remember Embiid sitting out the matchup against the Nuggets and Jokić.
The Sixers indicated Embiid would be out on Monday night due to a calf injury in what they described as a "precautionary” move resulting from the "density" of their recent schedule. Perkins doesn't see it that way, suggesting that Embiid isn't up for the challenge against Jokić in Denver despite a strong outing when the Nuggets came to Philadelphia earlier this season.
Embiid and Jokić, alongside Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, are the leading favorites to win the MVP award, having separated themselves from the rest of the pack down the stretch of the regular season. In a tight MVP race, Perkins thinks Embiid's latest injury absence could end up costing him in the eyes of voters.