Denver Nuggets Center Nikola Jokic The NBA Player of the Year award has been voted for the second consecutive season, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Lugnarovsky’s sources said an official announcement is expected this week.
Jokic’s initial stats have been better this year than last year, as he posted a career high of 27.1 points and 13.8 rebounds per game. He also averaged 7.9 passes, which is good for an eighth place in the league.
Jokic, 27, became the first player in NBA history with 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 500 assists in a single season.
The Denver center did it all without two of its fellow superstars, as a base guard Jamal Murray Missed the entire season while recovering from an ACL tear and Michael Porter Jr.. He played only nine matches due to a back injury. Despite this, the Nuggets were still able to make the playoffs as the sixth seed for the West before losing in five games to the Golden State Warriors in the opening round of the playoffs.
“It’s great what he’s done,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said recently of Jokic. “I know I’m very biased, I admit it wholeheartedly – the best player in the tournament isn’t even a competition. There are other great players, I’m not saying they’re not great players, but what Nikola Jokic has done this year, with this team, with everything we’ve had to We’re going through it, it’s unbelievable. It was good last year and it’s even better this year.”
Djokic is the fifteenth player in NBA history to win the MVP title multiple times and the second consecutive winner after that. Giannis Antikonmo He won it in 2018-19 and 2019-20.
Antetokounmpo was one of the finalists for this year’s award, along with Joel Embiid Who led the league in average scoring.
The prize is likely to be a huge season starter for Jokic, who qualifies for a supermax extension that could guarantee him nearly $254 million over five seasons starting in 2023-24. He will earn $32.4 million next season.
“Nothing is more important” than keeping Jokic, said Tim Connelly, the head of basketball operations for the Nuggets.
Next year, Jokic will have a chance three times as well.
Djokic is as famous for his accurate passes as for his soft touch, and has finished his side with 19 hat-tricks. Pick 41 from the 2014 draft now has 76ers in his career, which only tracks Wilt Chamberlain (78) among the places.
After being eliminated from the playoffs – averaging 31 points and 13.2 rebounds – Djokic was asked how he might celebrate if he won the MVP award.
“Maybe with some music, beer, friends and family,” he said. “Like the way you’re probably supposed to do it.
“But if I don’t understand it, I won’t die. I’ll keep playing, and I’ll keep playing the right way as I’ve done all my life.”
There was a time when Jokic was disgraced for his game. More specifically, his defense and his inability to jump. His once plump body – Tottenham boss Greg Popovich gently teasing him – has even more strength in it.
Did I ever bother him because his game didn’t seem to generate the level of respect like the other top players?
“I couldn’t care less, brother,” said Jokic.
He clearly sees the court as a point guard and has an arsenal of picks that includes soft baby hooks around the edge and a soft 3-point touch.
Popovic got an apt answer when asked if it was more important to block Djokic’s shot attempts or passes: “I don’t think anyone has figured that out,” he said. “He is a great person.”
There is no arguing from New York Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau.
“If anyone is running, they’re going to pay you for it,” Tibodo said earlier. “If you’re out of position or you’re wrong about making cuts, he’s going to make you pay for it.” “A great player.”
Jokic cares a lot about winning – the games, not the hardware. He’s not one to press on his behalf, just let his numbers speak. Last season when he won, he averaged 26.4 points, 10.8 plates, and 8.3 assists. This season, he took his game to another level as he made his fourth consecutive All-Star team.
“If that’s enough, then that’s enough,” he said. “If not, you can’t control that.”
Funny story about his MVP trophy from a season back: He wasn’t quite sure where it was while his family moved.
“He’s here in Denver,” Jokic recently cracked.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report
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