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Nikola Jokic named 2020-21 season NBA MVP

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Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic became only the sixth International to win the coveted award following a fine season. The center led the Nuggets to third place in the regular season that too without guard Jamal Murray.

Nikola Jokic named 2020-21 season NBA MVP

Jokic also became the first player from the second-round draft to be named as the MVP in the common draft era. He also became the first center to win the award since Shaquille O’Neal did back in the 2000-01 season.

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“To be honest, I didn’t even think about being in the NBA,” “It’s a big accomplishment,” Jokic said. “But it’s something that, like I said to the guys, it’s not just me. I couldn’t do it by myself. It’s something that it is an individual award but it’s the effort of everybody who is part of the Denver Nuggets organization.”

“I never thought about it. Like, even when the season was over, I was into the Portland series, so my focus wasn’t on that,” he said. “I didn’t want to even think about it because it’s just a trophy, and the season is not over. So I was just trying to keep my focus on the games.”

The Serbian played all of the 72 games for the Nuggets this season, only one of the 11 players to accomplish the feat this campaign.

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Joel Embiid and Steph Curry were the other front-runners for the prize, but Jokic comfortably finished above them in terms of voting.

Jokic emerged as the runaway winner in the MVP race

The 26-year-old claimed 91 of the 101 first-place votes and 971 total points to finish in the first place. Embiid and Curry took the second and third places respectively.

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Reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo finished in fourth place while Suns guard Chris Paul broke into the top five. LeBron James finished level with Ben Simmons and James Harden in terms of votes and as a result, finished 13th. This is the first time in LeBron’s career that he has been ranked below 11th in MVP ranking.

Embiid could have arguably won the award since he has been instrumental in the 76ers finishing as number one seed in the Eastern Conference. However, he had missed 21 games in the middle due to a knee injury.

Steph Curry, despite winning the scoring title for the season, failed to make it to the playoffs with the Warriors following an exit in the play-in tournament.

Currently trailing 1-0 in the Eastern Conference semi-finals against Phoenix Suns, the Nuggets would require Jokic to step up in order to atleast reach where they finished last year.

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