PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 03: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts against the Houston Rockets in the second half at the Wells Fargo Center on January 3, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 76ers defeated the Rockets 133-113. 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 Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Joel Embiid got a big vote of confidence yesterday when former MVP Shaquille O’Neal was asked about the ongoing Ben Simmons saga during “The NBA on TNT.” Shaq wouldnt take the bait and instead decided to turn the attention to Tobias Harris and later Joel Embiid.

“Id rather play with Tobias Harris anyway. He has heart. He aint gonna quit in the 4th quarter, he’s going to shoot. The other guy (Ben Simmons) ain’t there. This is what we got.”

But then the big man turned his attention to the MVP argument. Last year Joel Embiid finished 2nd in MVP voting, but lately he looks like a man on a mission to get what is rightfully his. Shaq agrees.

“He does have my vote, but there are some cucko’s like Charles (Barkley) and Kenny (Smith) that say ‘oh this team has a better record so this guy is the MVP.’ I always thought the MVP was a singular award. Which means youre the baddest guy in the league. And the baddest guy in the league right now is Joel Embiid.”

Shaq and Charles have always shown Embiid tough love. But it comes from a good place. They criticized him when he needed to be criticized because they saw the potential in the former 3rd overall pick. Hopefully the NBA World, like Shaq, is taking notice of the dominant run that Embiid is on.