Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic officially won the NBA Most Valuable Player award on Tuesday as a result of his outstanding performance this season.
Nikola Jokic has been named the NBA MVP. He is an extremely talented center for the Denver Nuggets who is only 20 years old.
DENVER — Nikola Jokic is a Denver Nuggets player. Also, Serbia.
Both cities can now boast that they are home to the NBA’s Most Valuable Player for the second straight season.
Jokic earned back-to-back MVP honors, the league revealed Wednesday night. The Nuggets’ center became the second foreign player to win two in a row, after Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, who was recognized in 2019 and 2020.
This is the first time an international player has won the award four years in a row. In 2005 and 2006, the Phoenix Suns’ Steve Nash won back-to-back titles, followed by the Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki in 2007.
This year’s international players finished 1-2-3. The jury of writers and broadcasters gave Jokic 65 first-place votes and 875 points. Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers finished second with 26 first-place votes and 706 points, while Antetokounmpo finished third with nine first-place votes and 595 points. Phoenix’s Devin Booker finished fourth.
In a statement, Nuggets coach Michael Malone stated, “I don’t know what more you can say about Nikola at this time.” “He’s continuously developed his game, consistently proven his doubters wrong, and he’s consistently the greatest player on the court night in and night out.”
Jokic, 27, averaged 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 7.9 assists for a squad that won 48 games despite losing two key players in Jamal Murray (ACL) and Michael Porter Jr. (back). The “Joker” established a new category when he became the first NBA player to score 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 500 assists in the same season.
He is now the 13th player in NBA history to win back-to-back MVP titles. Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry, LeBron James (twice), Nash, Tim Duncan, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Moses Malone, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were among the players he joined (twice). In three consecutive seasons, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, and Bill Russell each earned the award.
Jokic was taken aback when he arrived at his Serbian stable in a two-wheeled cart behind his horse. Michael Malone was ready to embrace him. Tim Connelly, the Nuggets’ president of basketball operations, is in the same boat.
In an interview with TNT, Jokic remarked, “It was a great emotional time for me.” “Amazing.”
The Nuggets selected Jokic with the 41st selection in the 2014 NBA Draft. During a Taco Bell ad that day, his choice appeared across the bottom of the screen.
He’s come a long way since then. He is eligible for a supermax contract, which would pay him almost $254 million over five seasons beginning in 2023-24.
This will all become clear to him later.
“Hopefully, when I’m old, fat, and cranky, I’ll recall and tell my kids, ‘Back in the days, I used to be very excellent at basketball,’” Jokic said.
James also extended his record of 19 years in the league and 19 years of receiving at least one MVP vote (a fifth-place vote). Nobody has earned more votes in more seasons or, more plainly, in more seasons in a row than James.
Despite the Los Angeles Lakers’ poor season (they didn’t even qualify for the play-in round), James’ stats remained among the top in the league. The 37-year-old averaged 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game this season, passing Karl Malone for second place on the all-time scoring record and putting himself in position to beat Abdul-Jabbar for first place late next season.
Throughout his 19 seasons, James has watched the game evolve. He was a member of the last USA Basketball team to not win Olympic gold, the group that competed in Athens in 2004, and he believed the game was just becoming better throughout the globe even then.
Jokic is yet another example of this.
He’s also not proving it by himself. Antetokounmpo and Embiid have contributed much. Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks (fifth in MVP voting) has already won the EuroLeague and seems to be on his way to winning at least one NBA MVP trophy.
They are the next generation of worldwide superstars, succeeding Nowitzki, Hakeem Olajuwon, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Pau and Marc Gasol, Yao Ming, and others. The discussion over who is the greatest foreign player of all time will rage, but Antetokounmpo (two MVPs and an NBA title) and now Jokic (two MVPs after being a second-round choice) will undoubtedly be mentioned.
The Toronto Raptors won the NBA Championship in 2019, giving Canada its first championship. The Canadian flag was saturated in champagne that night. Pascal Siakam danced with the Cameroonian flag draped over his shoulders, while club president Masai Ujiri gave interviews while wearing a Nigerian scarf around his neck, and these were just two of the Raptors with strong foreign links.
It’s possible that five overseas players may be lottery choices in the NBA draft next month. And almost no one believes Victor Wembanyama of France, a 7-foot-2 guard with guard talents, isn’t the clear No. 1 choice in the 2023 draft right now.
Those who have just arrived will aspire to be like Jokic. They’ll want to be the MVP, and he’s the latest name to demonstrate that it’s possible.
“Who is it if it isn’t me?” When asked whether he considered himself the longest of long shots, Jokic said. “There’s no way I’d come to the NBA and play basketball from this city and stable, to be honest. I’m now playing basketball in the top league in the world, and I’m doing well.”
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