And the NBA has a new MVP! Nikola Jovic, center of the Denver Nuggets, has been named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) 2020-21 season. The Serbian player makes history as the first member of the Denver Nuggets to be bestowed the honor, as per NBA.com.
With this win, the 26-year old joins the ranks of Dirk Nowitzki (Germany) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece) as MVP awardees from Europe. He’s also the lowest-drafted player in history to win the MVP award. Jovic was a second round pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. He was chosen 41st over all, to be specific. With the exception of three-time MVP Moses Maone, who was not selected in the NBA Draft. Plus, he’s the first center to win the MVP Award since 2000. The last big man to win the accolade is the Lakers’ Shaquille O’Neal.
Jovic, who’s nicknamed The Joker, won the MVP award by a long shot. Jokic received 91 first-place votes from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters as well as the Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award fan vote. Other nominees included Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, and Milwaukee Bucks forward Antetokounmpo.
After his six seasons in the NBA, Jovic has been named an NBA All-Star player thrice, and has been part of the All-NBA Team twice. Given he’s still in his prime, fans can still expect a lot of great things from Jovic.
In case you’re following the NBA, you’d know that there’s a chance Jovic can win both the MVP Award and Finals MVP Award as well. The Denver Nuggets are still in the running for the NBA championship after all. Will Jovic and the Nuggets go all the way? We’ll all have to wait and see.