Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic has won the NBA Most Valuable Player award for the second year in a row, the league announced Wednesday. The Serbian big man received 65 first-place votes from a panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters, comfortably beating Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, who finished second, and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who finished second. finished third.
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker and Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic round out the top five. It was the first time that the top three and four of the top five in the vote were international players.
Embiid hails from Cameroon, Antetokounmpo from Greece and Doncic from Slovenia. Jokic, 27, became the 13th player to win the award in consecutive seasons. Antetokounmpo won back-to-back MVPs in 2019 and 2020.
A prolific scorer and exceptional passer, Jokic 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 points, 13 rebounds and 6 assists in one season. “I don’t know what else you can say about Nikola at this point,” head coach Michael Malone said in a statement.
“He constantly improved his game, he constantly proved people wrong when they doubted him and he’s still the best player on the pitch night and night. I’ve said that many times before, I’m extremely grateful to coach Nikola Jokic and equally grateful for the bond we have built off the pitch in our seven years together.”
Jokic, nicknamed ‘the Joker’, is also known for his sense of humor and online video showed him being pulled by a horse as he sat in a buggy to a barn in Serbia where he was warmly greeted welcomed by the fans and handed him the solid crystal basketball. trophy. The 41st overall pick in the 2014 draft, Jokic led the Nuggets to the playoffs for a fourth straight time this season. The shorthanded team fell to the Golden State Warriors in five games in the first round.
The Nuggets are expected to offer Jokic a five-year, $254 million supermax contract extension this summer, according to The Athletic, in what would be the biggest deal in NBA history.
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