For the second straight season, Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić has been named the 2021-22 NBA Most Valuable Player, the league announced Wednesday.
He becomes the 13th player to win the award in consecutive seasons. The last player to win back-to-back MVP awards was Giannis Antetokounmpo(2019-2020).
Jokić received 875 points (65 first-place votes); Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid finished in second place with 706 points (26 first-place votes), and Antetokounmpo finished in third place with 595 points (nine first-place votes).
According to StatMuse, Jokic’s 65 first-place votes are the fewest for an MVP since Steve Nash in 2005-06.
The 27-year-old Jokić averaged 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds, 7.9 assists, 1.47 steals, and 0.85 blocks per game, setting career highs in each category except assists (second highest). The seven-year veteran, who played 74 games and averaged 33.5 minutes, ranked sixth in the NBA in points, second in rebounds, eighth in assists, 12th steals, and 33rd in blocks per game.
He became the first player in NBA history to record at least 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 500 assists in a season and the first player to average at least 25.0 points, 13.0 rebounds, and 6.0 assists in a season. He led the NBA in triple-doubles with 19 and double-doubles with 66(both single-season team records).
This is the first time that both the top three and four of the top five finishers in voting for the NBA Most Valuable Player Award are international players, with Jokić (Serbia), Embiid (Cameroon), and Antetokounmpo (Greece) comprising the top three and Dončić (Slovenia) joining them in the top five. Jokić is the second European player to win the award more than once, joining Antetokounmpo, the MVP in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons.
You could make a case for Embiid, Antetokounmpo, or Jokić as the league MVP, but in the end, Jokić gets the nod.
The voting results for the 2021-22 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award are below: