Basketball: Denver Nuggets' Nikola Jokic named NBA's Most Valuable Player

  • 09/06/2021

Denver Nuggets centre Nikola Jokic has been awarded the NBA's Most Valuable Player for the 2020/21 season.

The Serbian becomes the lowest-ever overall NBA draft pick (No. 41 overall in 2014) to claim the league's highest individual honour, joining Steve Nash and Giannis Antetokounmpo as the third non-lottery pick to receive the Maurice Podoloff trophy.     

The 2.11m, uber-versatile Jokic played all 72 regular season games, posting per game averages of 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds and 8.3 assists to lead the Nuggets to the third seed in the Western Conference, despite the absence of injured star guard Jamal Murray.

The 26-year-old beat out finalists Stephen Curry (third) and Joel Embiid (second), who both enjoyed career-best years with Golden State Warriors and Philadelphia 76ers respectively.

Jokic received 91 first-place votes, ahead of Embiid's five and Curry's one, becoming the first centre to win the award since Shaquille O'Neal in 2000.

The Nuggets currently trail Phoenix Suns 1-0 in their second round Western Conference playoff series, after advancing past Portland Trailblazers 4-3 in the opening round.