The Athletic and Stadium’s Shams Charania tweeted Tuesday afternoon that Denver Nuggets Center Nikola Jokić has been named 2020-2021 Most Valuable Player.
Nikola Jokić, who in his sixth season with the Nuggets, played all 72 games, averaging 34.6 MPG, averaged a career-high 26.4 points per game, 8.3 assists, and 10.8 rebounds this season.
The 2020-2021 season brought many career highlights for Jokić. In the third game of the season, Jokić recorded 18 assists against the Houston Rockets. His 18 assists against the rockets made him the first to record 18 assists since the late Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlin did it in 1968. Two nights later, Jokić, against the Sacramento Kings, became ninth on the all-time list for the NBA in triple doubles.
In January, Jokić continued his strong performance from the opening month of the season. On January 23rd, Jokic set a new career-high for rebounds with 22 against the Phoenix Suns in a double-overtime win. Eight nights later, on January 31st Jokić would tie at that point his career-high in points to help the Nuggets defeat the Utah Jazz 128-117. At the end of January, he was named the Western Conference Player of the Month. This made Jokić the first Nuggets player to win the award since Carmelo Anthony.
On February 6, Jokić had a career night, scoring 50 points and the first center since 1975, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He was also selected to his third All-Star Game but first as a starter. In the March 2nd game against the Bucks Jokić got his 50th triple double. He is the third fastest to achieve this feat behind hall of famers Oscar Robertson and Michael Jordan. He won Western Confrence Player of the Month for March becoming the first Nugget to win twice in one season.
At the end of the season Jokić led the league in double-doubles, finished second in triple doubles behind Russell Westbrook. Jokić is the third player in NBA history to be in the top five in points, rebounds and assists. With this he joins hall of famers Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain as the only other men to do so. With the MVP Award Jokić is the lowest draft pick ever to win the honor.