Philadelphia 76ers’ center Joel Embiid was awarded the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award for the 2020-2021 season on Friday night. The 29-year-old star player delivered an emotional acceptance speech in which his 2-year-old son Arthur joined him on the court.
In his acceptance speech, Embiid thanked his teammates and credited his family for his success, especially his son.
“Honestly, he’s the main reason why I’m really here,” Embiid said. “Becoming a father changed my whole life and I just wanted to show him a good example, and I’m glad he is here with us. My fiancée is a big part of it, too.”
“My family has been a big part of it,” he said. “Obviously, we went through such a huge tragedy losing my little brother. But, you know, we stuck together. We went through a lot.”
Embiid’s younger brother Arthur passed away in a car accident in 2014, and he previously credited “giving his name to my son” as something that meant a lot during his journey.
“My son is the reason why I’m really sitting here,” he previously told NBC Sports. “When I found out we were having a kid, I just remember I was like, ‘I’ve got to be a great role model, and I’ve got to set a good example.'”
He continued, “My whole mindset just changed. Everything about me just changed. The way I went about my business, my life, everything changed because I wanted to be a great father, set a good example.”
Joel Embiid’s impressive regular-season stats helped him beat out Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo and Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokić for the prestigious Michael Jordan Trophy. He averaged 33.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game.