Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic had a remarkable season, and that special was rewarded after he was named the NBA’s MVP on Tuesday.
Jokic, who won the award for the first time in his career, is the lowest-drafted player(41st overall selection in 2014) to be named league MVP
The 26-year-old center becomes the first player to earn the honor as a member of the Nuggets. He is also the first player from Serbia to be selected as the NBA MVP and joins Dirk Nowitzki (Germany) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece) as MVP winners from Europe.
In his sixth NBA season, Jokic played all 72 games and averaged a career-high 26.4 points, 10.9 rebounds, a career-high 8.4 assists, and 1.32 steals in 34.8 minutes. With his season averages, Jokic ranked 12th in the NBA in points, ninth in rebounds, sixth in assists, and 22nd in steals. He is the third player in NBA history to average at least 26.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 8.0 assists in a season, joining Oscar Robertson and Russell Westbrook.
This season, he broke the franchise records for career double-doubles and triple-doubles. He also became the first Nuggets player to start an NBA All-Star Game since 2011.
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (586 points) finished in second place in the MVP voting, followed by Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (453 points) in third place, Milwaukee Bucks forward Antetokounmpo (348 points) in fourth place, and Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (139 points) in fifth place.
If Embiid could have found a way to stay healthy, he probably wins the award, especially when considering that the 76ers had the best record in the Eastern Conference. However, give credit to Jokic; he did it all for the Nuggets and is well-deserving of league MVP.
The Nuggets play Game 2 of their second-round playoff matchup against the Suns on Thursday night. Phoenix leads the series 1-0.