AP source: Jokic captures 2nd straight NBA MVP award

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Denver’s Nikola Jokic has won his second consecutive Most Valuable Player award after a season in which he finished with numbers never before seen in NBA history, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press.

The NBA was preparing to make the announcement in the coming days, likely this week, according to the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Monday because the voting results have not been announced.

ESPN, citing sources, first reported that Jokic would be named MVP again.

The Nuggets’ 7-foot center was the first player in league history to eclipse 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 500 assists in a season. And that sort of dominance by the player nicknamed “Joker” helped convince voters that he should be the 13th player of the NBA’s exclusive MVP back-to-back club.


The other finalists — who will finish second and third in some order — were Philadelphia center Joel Embiid, who led the league in scoring average, and two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the reigning champion Milwaukee Bucks.

The 27-year-old Jokic averaged 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds and 7.9 assists on a team that was missing two max players in Jamal Murray (ACL) and Michael Porter Jr. (back). Required to carry the load night in and out, the big man from Sombor, Serbia, answered the call and guided the Nuggets to a 48-win season. They earned the No. 6 seed in the West, before losing in five games to the Golden State Warriors in the opening round of the playoffs.

“It’s just remarkable what he’s done,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone recently said of Jokic. “I know that I’m very biased, I admit it wholeheartedly — the MVP isn’t even a competition. There’s 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 that we’ve had to go through, is incredible. He was good last year and he’s even better this year.”

The award is likely the start of a huge offseason for Jokic, who is eligible for a supermax extension that could guarantee him nearly $254 million over five seasons starting with 2023-24. He’ll make $32.4 million next season.


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