Denver Nuggets big man and Serbian professional basketball player, Nikola Jokic (Centre), has been named NBA MVP (Most Valuable Player) of the year for the second time in a row.
Nikola Jokić follows Milwaukee’s Antetokounmpo as back-to-back MVP winner. Whereas, this season, he only edges Sixers’ Embiid for this top individual honour of playing NBA.
The basketball’s biggest league (NBA) announced Wednesday night that Jokic had captured back-to-back MVP awards. The Nuggets’ big man is the second consecutive international player to win two in a row after Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo – who hails from Greece – earned the title in 2019 and 2020.
International players finished 1-2-3 in this year’s MVP voting. Jokic got 65 first-place votes and 875 points from the panel of sportswriters and broadcasters that cover the league and decide on awards. Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid was second with 26 first-place votes and 706 points; Antetokounmpo was third, with nine first-place votes and 595 points. Devin Booker of Phoenix wound up fourth.
I don’t know what else you can say about Nikola at this point. He’s consistently improved his game, he’s consistently proven people wrong when they doubt him and he’s consistently the best player on the floor night in and night out.Nuggets coach Michael Malone said in a statement
Nikola is 27-years old and he has already paved his place in the league with his tremendous and consecutive performances. averaged 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds and 7.9 assists on a team that was missing two max players in Jamal Murray (ACL) and Michael Porter Jr (back). The do-it-all centre nicknamed ‘Joker’ created a new category, too, in becoming the first NBA player to eclipse 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 500 assists in a season. That’s very rare to see in the history of the league.
International plyers MVP in NBA history
This marks the first time international players have won the award in four consecutive seasons. Canada’s Steve Nash went back-to-back for Phoenix in 2005 and 2006, followed by Germany’s Dirk Nowitzki winning for Dallas in 2007.
Players who won back-to-back NBA MVP awards in NBA history
Nikola Jokic is now a member of another rare club – the 13th player to win back-to-back NBA MVP awards
- Stephen Curry
- LeBron James (twice)
- Tim Duncan
- Michael Jordan
- Magic Johnson
- Moses Malone
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (twice)
- Larry Bird
- Wilt Chamberlain and
- Bill Russell
Jokić was taken by the Nuggets with the 41st pick in the 2014 draft. His selection that day flashed across the bottom of the television screen during a Taco Bell commercial.
He’s come a long way. He’s eligible for a supermax extension that could guarantee him nearly $254m over five seasons starting with 2023-24.
Lebron James rare record in this season
Lebron James extended his record, too – 19 years in the league, 19 years of getting at least one vote in the MVP balloting (a fifth-place vote). Nobody has gotten votes in more seasons, or obviously, in more consecutive seasons than James.
Despite their disastrous season – the Los Angeles Lakers didn’t even make the play-in tournament – James’ numbers remained among the league’s best. The 37-year-old averaged 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game, moving past Karl Malone for No 2 on the all-time scoring list and into position to pass Abdul-Jabbar as the league’s all-time leader late next season. James has seen the game change during his 19 seasons. He was part of the last USA Basketball team that didn’t win Olympic gold – the squad that went to Athens in 2004 – and even was convinced then that the game was only getting stronger around the world.
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