Nikola Jokic Wins NBA MVP AwardJake Cooper | 10 Jun 2021
Nikola Jokic has won the NBA Most Valuable Player award. The superstar of the Denver Nuggets team is the first-ever Nuggets player to take home this accolade. He is also the lowest-ever NBA draft pick, placed at 41 overall, to be voted MVP.
Jokic is Serbian, which means that he joins a very elite group of just five non-American players to claim the title of MVP. He began his basketball career in his homeland before being drafted to the NBA in 2014. The player is also the first centre to be awarded the gong since the legendary Shaquille O’Neal took it home over two decades ago in 2000.
Towering at a whopping 2.11 metres tall, Jokic achieved very impressive statistics over the past season. He played all 72 regular season games and averaged a career-high of 26.4 points per game, with 10.8 rebounds and 8.3 assists recorded per game.
With these stats, Jokic was able to beat out other impressive finalists to secure the title. Joel Embiid placed second, while Stephen Curry placed third. Embiid plays for the Philadelphia 76ers, while Curry plays for the Golden State Warriors. Overall, Jokic received 91 out of 101 first-place votes compared to five for Embiid and just one for Curry. The latter won the NBA’s scoring award after averaging 32 points per game, while Embiid reached a career high of 28.5 points per game. However, The Warriors did not reach the playoffs and Embiid was forced to miss 21 games this season due to injury.
The Best Season Of His Life
After receiving the award, Jokic said that this past season was the best of his life, and that winning this trophy was just the cherry on top of it all. Before his win, the record for the lowest MVP-winning draft pick stood at 15. Jokic is also just the third non-lottery pick to claim this award after Steve Nash and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Jokic is in his sixth season with the Denver Nuggets. He said that when he started playing basketball back in Serbia, he never even thought of being a part of the NBA. While in Serbia, Jokic played in the Euro League, which was the closest thing to a top league. The player added that this award serves as confirmation that he has indeed made the most of the opportunities presented to him over the course of his time with the Denver Nuggets.