Nikola Jokic First Big Man To Win NBA MVP Since Shaq in 2000

A little over a week ago, we finally have the result for 2020-21 Kia MVP award.  As expected, Nikola Jokic

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was awarded with 2020-21 Kia MVP award after he stays in the No.1 spot on the MVP race since NBA All-Star.  He is the first center to win NBA MVP since Shaquille O’Neal in 2000.  He is one of the few European players who won the NBA MVP along with Dirt Nowitzki and Giannis Antetokounmpo.  As a player representing Serbia, he became the first player to win the NBA MVP.

The 26 years old Jokic played for Serbian League in his early career. He was drafted by Denver Nuggets on 2014 in a 41st overall pick in second round. Jokic won ABA league MVP before he joined the NBA in 2015. He is three times NBA All-Star (2019-21).  Denver did not expect the lowest-drafted player in 2014 would lead the team to playoff and won the MVP.  In 2020-21 season, he averaged 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 8.3 assists per game.  Jokic leads the Denver to Western Conference Semifinal but lost to Phoenix Suns in 4-0 series.  He averages 25 ppg, 13.3 rpg, and 5.8 apg in the series against the Suns.

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NBA MVP Voting Results

From the 2020-21 MVP voting result, Jokic came in first place with 91 (971 total points) first-place votes ahead of other competi tors. Philadelphia 76ers center

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 Joel Embiid came in second place with 589 points, olden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry third place with 453 points, Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo fourth place with 348, and  Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul fifth place with 139 points. 

O’Neal, The Hall of Famer, TNT commentator, former MVP in 2000, and  4x champions, shows his appreciation to Jokic’s effort in demonstrating the importance of a center, “Because of you, the big man is back”

Final Thought

Jokic came into the NBA league at age 20 with an average of 10 ppg, 7 rpg, and 2.4 apg in his rookie year.  He develops as a big man in his 6th year in the league and average over 25 ppg game.  He improves in his involve in his teammate by 8.3 apg.  Jokic have a career high 50 points against Sacramento Kings in February 6, 2021.  Jokic will continue to develop as a big man, and we expect him to continue his competition against his top competitor Joel Embiid on next season.

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