In the NBA MVP Race: Jokic’s steady performance proved crucial, while top draft picks missed out on the trophy once more

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Nikola Jokic reacting in the second half

Jokic, the talented player from Serbia on the Denver Nuggets, was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player on Wednesday night. This marks his third MVP win in the last four seasons, a feat achieved by only six other players in NBA history.

Throughout the season, Jokic averaged impressive stats: 26.4 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 9.0 assists per game. While some players had higher averages in specific areas, Jokic stood out by ranking in the top 10 for points, rebounds, and assists per game.

Jokic received 79 out of 99 possible first-place votes from the panel of reporters and broadcasters in the voting process. During the award announcement on TNT, Jokic credited his teammates, coaches, and the entire organization for his success, emphasizing the importance of their support.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander from Oklahoma City placed second in the MVP voting, while Luka Doncic from Dallas came in third.

This is the first time both players made it to the top three in MVP voting. Notably, for the third consecutive season, the top three MVP candidates were born outside the United States, with Jokic, Gilgeous-Alexander, and Doncic representing Serbia, Canada, and Slovenia respectively.

3-Time NBA MVP

This year, the dominance of international players in the NBA was even more evident. Giannis Antetokounmpo from Greece placed fourth in the MVP voting, marking the first time in the award’s 69-year history that international players took the top four spots. It’s also the sixth consecutive year that a player born outside the U.S. has won the award.

During the award announcement on TV, Jokic wore a T-shirt honoring his mentor, Golden State assistant coach Dejan Milojević, who passed away earlier this year. Jokic expressed gratitude for Milojević’s guidance and influence on his training and mindset.

Jokic received votes on all 99 ballots, with 18 second-place and two third-place votes. Gilgeous-Alexander was also featured on every ballot, earning 15 first-place votes. Doncic received votes on almost all ballots, securing four first-place votes.

Antetokounmpo received one first-place vote, placing fourth. Jalen Brunson from New York followed in fifth place, with Jayson Tatum from Boston, Anthony Edwards from Minnesota, Domantas Sabonis from Sacramento, and Kevin Durant from Phoenix rounding out the top rankings.

Jokic shared his perspective on what makes an MVP, highlighting the player’s value to their team rather than simply being on the best team.

With this win, Jokic joins a select group of players who have won the MVP award at least three times, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, LeBron James, Moses Malone, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson.

Luka Doncic defends during the game

Jokic’s remarkable journey from being the 41st pick in the 2014 draft to becoming a superstar has been well-documented. Despite doubting his chances of playing in the NBA at the start of his career, he has now built a Hall of Fame-worthy legacy at just 29 years old.

Among the players with three MVP trophies in four years are James, Johnson, Bird, Abdul-Jabbar, Chamberlain, and Russell. Jokic also joins a group of players, including Bird, Abdul-Jabbar, Russell, and Tim Duncan, who have consistently ranked first or second in MVP voting for four consecutive years.

Gilgeous-Alexander’s performance this season was remarkable, contributing to Oklahoma City’s success as they secured the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.

He averaged 30.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game, significantly improving the team’s performance compared to previous seasons. Thunder coach Mark Daigneault praised Gilgeous-Alexander, emphasizing his importance to the team’s success.

Doncic also made a strong case for the MVP award with his impressive stats this season. He became the first player in NBA history to average 34 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists per game.

This achievement adds to a select group of players who have achieved similar statistical milestones in previous seasons, with five of them winning the MVP award, including Joel Embiid last season.


By Michael Smith

Hi. Hailing from Manila, I am an avid consumer of anime, gaming, football and professional wrestling. You can mostly find me either writing articles, binging shows or engaged in an engrossing discussion about the said interests.

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