Nikola Jokic: Nuggets’ star overcomes SGA, Doncic to win third NBA MVP Award

2023 NBA Finals: Jokic’s brilliance powers Nuggets past Heat in Game 1

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic has been named the 2023–24 NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP), the league announced on Wednesday.

The 29-year-old, who is the recipient of the Michael Jordan Trophy, wins his third MVP award, having previously gotten the accolade in the 2020–21 and 2021–22 seasons.

The Serbian superstar adds his name to an exclusive list of players to have won the award three or more times, becoming the ninth NBA player to do so. He joins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six), Michael Jordan (five), Bill Russell (five), Wilt Chamberlain (four), LeBron James (four), Larry Bird (three), Magic Johnson (three), and Moses Malone (three).

Jokic got 79 first-place votes and a total of 926 points to overcome Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic to win the MVP honor. Gilgeous-Alexander finished in second with 15 first-place votes, while Doncic got just four.

“To be honest, I liked it last year when I didn’t get it and then we won a championship. Much better,” he said. “But I don’t know what to say. It’s a journey, it’s a process, it’s trusting in your teammates, your teammates trusting in you.”

“It’s just a whole collective effort that put me in the bright spotlight. And I’m kind of the guy. But there is a lot of people, players, coaches, strength coaches, development coaches, medical staff behind me. Family, of course. And that you guys don’t see it, and I’m just one of them.”

The Nuggets center finished the regular season averaging 26.4 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 9.0 assists per game while shooting 58.3% from the field. His season averages were better than the 2020–21 campaign, when he first won the MVP award.

The 6-foot-11 reigning Finals MVP ranked 10th in the NBA in points, fourth in rebounds, and third in assists per game this season. He settled for second place for the most double-doubles (68) and triple-doubles (25) in the league this season.

Jokic made NBA history by becoming the second player to have at least 2,000 points, 900 rebounds, and 700 assists in a season, joining Oscar Robertson (1961–1962).

He led Denver to a second-place finish in the Western Conference this season, as their 57-25 win-loss record matched the franchise high for wins in a season and tied the Minnesota Timberwolves for the best record in the West.

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