Nikola Jokic named NBA MVP for second successive season
The 27-year-old Serbian — who was the forty first decide of the 2014 draft — was named as an All-Star for the fourth successive season after one other dominant yr from the middle place. He pipped Philadelphia 76ers heart Joel Embiid and Milwaukee Bucks ahead Giannis Antetokounmpo to the award.
Jokic is the fifteenth participant to win the MVP a number of instances and the second straight to win back-to-back awards after Antetokounmpo in 2018-19 and 2019-20.
Jokic accepted the award whereas at his horse secure in Serbia.
When requested by TNT’s Ernie Johnson after successful the award if he ever thought-about himself a longshot, Jokic agreed, including, “There isn’t any method I might come to NBA and play basketball from this metropolis, from this secure, mainly, and now I am taking part in basketball in the most effective league on the planet and taking part in at a excessive degree.”
As a younger boy, Jokic stated he “was not fascinated by taking part in basketball, not even going to lie.”
“I used to be right here within the secure,” he stated. “I used to be cleansing the packing containers. I used to be cleansing the horses. At that age, I used to be not fascinated by basketball in any respect.”
Jokic improved on his general recreation from final yr’s MVP-winning season, averaging 27.1 factors, 13.8 rebounds and seven.9 assists in 74 regular-season video games this yr. Final yr, he averaged 26.4 factors, 10.8 rebounds and eight.3 assists per recreation.
Throughout the common season, Jokic grew to become the primary participant in NBA historical past with 2,000 factors, 1,000 rebounds and 500 assists in a single season.
He additionally racked up a league-leading 19 triple-doubles within the common season, which means he has 76 in his profession, which trails solely Wilt Chamberlain (78) amongst facilities.
“To look at Nikola become one of many few back-to-back MVPs this league has ever seen has been really unbelievable,” stated Denver Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly. “It is indicative of who Nikola is as an individual and a basketball participant — onerous working, extraordinarily motivated and devoted to bettering himself and all of his teammates any method he can.”
Nuggets battled Warriors in playoffs
Jokic’s Nuggets have been extraordinarily shorthanded this season. Level guard Jamal Murray missed your entire yr on account of a torn ACL whereas Michael Porter Jr. performed simply 9 video games due to a again harm.
But regardless of all of the adversity in his method, Jokic was in a position to drag Denver to the playoffs, ending because the Western Convention’s sixth seed.
That earned the Nuggets a conflict with the Golden State Warriors the place they’d ultimately lose in 5 video games of their best-of-seven recreation collection.
Within the collection, Jokic averaged 31.0 factors, 13.2 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.6 steals and one block per recreation on 57.5% capturing from the sector, virtually singlehandedly retaining the Nuggets in a lot of the video games.
The 5 video games included some fierce battles with Warriors ahead Draymond Inexperienced — broadly thought-about top-of-the-line defensive gamers within the NBA.
After the Warriors had clinched the collection successful victory in Recreation 5, Jokic and Inexperienced shared an embrace at half-court and exchanged some phrases which Inexperienced defined in his postgame press convention.
“I instructed him thanks for making me higher. It is an honor and a pleasure to play somebody so expert. Often when you have got guys that proficient and expert, they’re comfortable. And he is far, removed from comfortable. He is a completely unbelievable participant,” Inexperienced stated.