Yesterday, the NBA announced that Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic is named the 2021 NBA MVP. He heard the news when commissioner Adam Silver called Jokic at the end of a team meeting. The reaction from his teammates and the organization was priceless. Jokic received 91 out of the 101 first-place votes and beat out Stephen Curry from Golden State and Joel Embiid from Philadelphia.
He is the first player in the Denver Nuggets history to win MVP and is the third player from Europe to win the honors. The other two European players to win MVP are Giannis Antetokounmpo and Dirk Nowitzki. Also, Jokic is the lowest-drafted player in NBA history to win the MVP, and the crazy part is there was no video of Jokic’s reaction when Denver picked him. Instead, he was selected in the middle of a Taco Bell commercial.
Statements from Jokic and Coach Malone
Jokic came out with a statement on winning MVP last night. It’s a big accomplishment. But it’s something that, as I said to the guys, it’s not just me. I couldn’t do it by myself. So it’s something that is an individual award, but it’s the effort of everybody who is part of the Denver Nuggets organization,” per ESPN’s Tim Bontemps.
The Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone made a statement as well on Jokic winning MVP. “I’m so happy and respect so much the hard work and dedication that he’s put in to reach this point. I’ve been lucky enough to coach Nikola his entire career and see his growth from a second-round pick trying to learn the NBA to a perennial All-Star, and now the MVP is truly extraordinary. He deserves this honor, and I don’t take for granted getting to coach a player, and more importantly, a person like Nikola,” per The Denver Post.
Reactions from the NBA Community
Here is a reaction from his teammate Will Barton and former Denver Nugget’s player Alex English.
Jokic’s Career Season
Jokic had a stellar season with the Nuggets. He is also the second MVP to all play regular-season games; Kobe Bryant was first in 2008. Without point guard, his sidekick Jamal Murray went out with an injury for most of the season. Jokic set up for the Nuggets and made a significant impact on the team. Jokic had careers in points and assists, and he tied his career-high in rebounds. He averaged 26.4 points, 8.3 assists, and 10.8 rebounds per game in the 2020-2021 season.
Jokic states how this was the best season of his career. “The difference between this year was I started this season really well. “I played kind of the whole season really well stat wise. I think this was the best season of my life and the cherry on the top is the trophy that I got. This is the best season of my life,” per ESPN’s Tim Bontempts.
Due to Jokic winning the MVP this season. He is eligible to earn a supermax contract with Denver. After the 2021-2022 season, Jokic is eligible for a supermax offer that would be the highest in NBA history.
Jokic has led the Nuggets to the third seed in the Western Conference. The Denver Nuggets are currently in the second round battling against the Phoenix Suns. Denver is currently down 1-0 in the series. The Nuggets and Suns play game two tonight at 9:30, and you can watch the game on TNT.