The Philadelphia 76ers lost Game 5 of the NBA Finals to the Miami Heat, but it was their star player Joel Embiid’s postgame rant that stole headlines. He spent more time complaining about unfair officiating than he did on defense against one of LeBron James’ best games ever.

Joel Embiid spent more effort on his MVP rant than he did against the Heat in game 5. Read more in detail here: sports.

Joel Embiid is one defeat away from yet another second-round playoff departure, but that wasn’t on his mind after the Philadelphia 76ers’ humiliating Game 5 performance against the Miami Heat.

Instead, the five-time All-Star went on a lengthy postgame tirade over losing the MVP title for the second consecutive season to Nikola Jokic. Embiid will one again miss the Eastern Conference Finals if he can’t get his priorities right – and fast.

Joel Embiid is obsessed with winning the MVP award.

Joel Embiid rubs his face against the Heat.

Joel Embiid rubs his face against the Heat. During Game 5 against the Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid reacts | Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Embiid and the Sixers had a chance to seize control of their second-round playoff series against the Heat on Tuesday night. A win on the road would have given them a chance to finish the series in front of a boisterous home crowd and progress to the ECF for the first time in Embiid’s career.

They, on the other hand, didn’t bother to show up.

From the first tip, Philadelphia was outplayed and outhustled. No heart was present. No enthusiasm. There was little feeling of urgency from a squad that should be keen to get beyond the second round.

Surprisingly, Embiid was the one who let the team down. In the first half, the NBA scoring champion only tried six shots as Miami cruised to a 12-point advantage at the break. He scored 17 points on only 12 field-goal attempts in the contest. He only grabbed five rebounds in 33 minutes on the floor. In only 15 minutes off the bench, backup big Paul Reed grabbed eight rebounds.

It’s fair to blame Embiid’s lackluster play on the right orbital fracture he worsened in Game 5, but if he continues to play through ailments, he’ll only damage the Sixers by playing with little aggressiveness.

However, based on his postgame remarks, Embiid may have been distracted on the court by another cause.

“I just felt it wasn’t going to happen,” Embiid said of Jokic defeating him to the MVP award. “Obviously, Nikola deserves congratulations. He had earned it. He had a fantastic season. There was no right or incorrect answer since there were so many choices. It might have gone in any way. Giannis (Antetokounmpo) and Devin Booker are on the league’s top team. I suppose it’s whatever you guys (the media) determine every year. Whatever suits the story in terms of who will win.

“The only thing I’ll say about these awards is that, I don’t know how to express it, but it reminds me of something I heard on the podcast about Bill Simmons essentially stating he had a vendetta against someone who said ‘F Jalen Green.’” “It’s not fair to enable these sorts of individuals to vote for these awards,” he concluded. “What if Jalen Green was in a position to earn a supermax or an All-Star appearance?” He has the ability to influence other members of the media, and you have someone saying things like this. I don’t believe it’s fair or acceptable, so that’s about all I have to say about those prizes.”

So, after one of his worst postseason games in a key Game 5, Embiid went on a tirade about losing the MVP and who gets to vote on such honors. Fans of the Sixers can’t be optimistic about the remainder of the series.

Embiid has to sort out his priorities.

Everyone who has watched Embiid’s career knows how much he wants to be named MVP. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it becomes an issue when the disappointment of losing an individual award begins to impair your team’s postseason performance.

Embiid should have used the rejection as motivation to completely dominate the Heat in Game 5 and show he earned the trophy. Instead, he was eager to criticize the voting procedure after the game.

“I’m not angry,” he remarked, “but that’s two years in a row.” “I placed myself in that situation, it didn’t happen, it’s almost like it’s whatever at this point.” Whatever occurs, occurs. I ran a campaign on it last year. This year, I answered questions as they were asked, and for the next five years till I retire, it’s almost like, I don’t know. I’m not sure what more I need to do to win it, and at this point, it’s just whatever. It’s all about concentration; not that I wasn’t already focused on the big goal, but now is the moment to truly concentrate on the big vision, which is to win the entire thing.”

Hopefully, after being blasted off the floor in Game 5, Embiid came to that conclusion. Embiid is more interested in winning a championship for the city of Philadelphia than in winning an MVP award.

Now is the moment to show it.

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RELATED: Why Is Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers Wearing a Mask?

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