On Wednesday evening the National Basketball Association revealed their finalists for their annual slate of individual regular season awards.
That's right, after months of whispers, think pieces and lowkey campaigning, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have been named finalists for a pair of most valuable player awards and could bring home some postseason hardware for the first time in nearly half a decade.
Most consider Houston Rockets guard James Harden to be the prohibitive favorite to win this season's MVP Award, but he'll have some stiff competition.
Houston's James Harden, who was runner-up in the NBA Most Valuable Player voting the past 3 seasons, was instrumental in the Rockets' run to a league-leading 65 regular-season wins. Harden leads the league in scoring with 30.4 per game while also handing out eight assists.
After only appearing in only 31 games as a super rookie in 2016-2017, Embiid silenced all of the doubters in his second season as a pro and quickly established himself as one of the most dominant players in the league at both ends of the court. And he raised his level of play after fellow all-star DeMarcus Cousins went down to an Achilles injury. He didn't miss a game in a season for the first time in his career and averaged almost 28 points, nine rebounds and nine assists per game while also making 54 percent of his shots.More news: Lava from Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano Could Leave Thousands Trapped
James has won the MVP award four times.
The victor of the NBA's MVP will be revealed at the 2018 NBA Awards on Monday, June 25.
The awards will be voted by a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada, while fans will get to vote for several awards as well.
Ben Simmons has been shortlisted for the NBA's Rookie of the Year award, along with Utah's Donovan Mitchell and Boston sensation Jayson Tatum.