Denver Nuggets' Nikola Jokic wins MVP award for second successive year
After improving his all-around numbers even further while carrying the Denver Nuggets to the playoffs essentially by himself, Nikola Jokic takes home his second straight MVP Award.
He joins Giannis Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry, LeBron James (twice), Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Moses Malone, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (twice) as the only players to win the MVP in back-to-back seasons.
Only Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, and Bill Russell have won the award in three consecutive seasons.
"It was a real emotional moment for me," Jokic said. "Amazing."
Nikola Jokic accepted his MVP in Serbia.— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) May 11, 2022
Jokic came from humble beginnings, as he was the 41st pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. Because he wasn't even invited to the draft, the ESPN broadcast decided to play a Taco Bell commercial while he was being selected. That humility seems like it's here to stay.
"Probably when I'm old, fat, and grumpy, hopefully, I'm going to remember and I'm going tell my kids, 'Back in the days, I was really good playing basketball,'" Jokic said.
Indeed, Jokic will have a story to tell his kids, but what will also be remembered is his rare style of play.
As a big man, he averages nearly eight assists per game. That is almost unheard of. But not only does he serve as the primary playmaker for his team, but he also puts up big scoring performances on sky-high efficiency while also gobbling in nearly 14 rebounds per game.
Jokic winning this award is bigger than basketball
As mentioned, Jokic was nearly an afterthought back when he was drafted, as he was a young boy from Serbia whose game didn't get the attention of scouts back then.
However, Jokic almost immediately made an impact the minute he was drafted, as he not only established himself as a potential rotation player in the NBA, he flashed generational, superstar talent.
Because of how Jokic established himself in the NBA, despite having basically no expectations heading into the league, he was asked if he considers himself a longshot.
"If it's not me, who is it?" Jokic said. "There's no way that I would come to the NBA and play basketball from this city and from this stable, basically. Now, I'm playing basketball in the best league in the world and playing at a high level."
Jokic also became the first player to post at least 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 500 assists in a single season. Not bad for a "longshot."
While Jokic had a little bit of luck growing up to be 7-feet tall, his story should still be recognized as someone who worked really hard to achieve this level of success in the NBA despite facing long odds.
Follow your dreams, folks!