Serbian international Nikola Jokic has been named the NBA regular-season MVP, according reports we gathered from reliable sources.
This will be the first time that a center will clinch the award, since Shaquille O’Neal won it.
In his sixth NBA season, Jokic set career-highs in points (26.4), field-goal percentage (56.6%) and assists (8.3) and matched his career-high in rebounds (10.8).
Denver Nuggets center was touted Jokic’s credentials all season long for numerous reasons. Jokic was considered to be the NBA’s best passing big man. They showed appreciation on his on-court leadership both during a compressed season and following Jamal Murray’s season-ending injury last month. And Jokic has remained remarkably durable, playing in every single game despite a shortened offseason after leading the Nuggets to the Western Conference finals.
Nugget President of basketball operations Tim Connelly told journalist that ‘Jokic is difficult to play against.’
“I’ve never seen a more difficult player to guard. He’s the best passer in the NBA. He has an ability to step out and consistently make 3s. He’s got 15 moves in the post. You never know what he’s going to pull out.”
“He stayed in great shape and he came back ready to go,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said earlier this season. “He didn’t ease himself into the season. He came back playing at a high level, and he’s done that for every game we’ve played this year. That’s why I think he’s a leading candidate for MVP.”
After picking THE JOKER out of the Serbian League at No. 41 in the 2014 NBA draft, he has since become a three-time NBA All-Star before earning his latest accolade.
In the last three seasons an international player has now won the MVP award, With Giannis Antetokounmpo winning two and Nikola Jokic clinching the most recent edition.