DENVER (CBS4)– As the NBA season winds down this week, Denver Nuggets All-Star center Nikola Jokic remains the frontrunner to win the league’s MVP award. If this happens, Jokic would become the first player to win the award in NBA history and will also hold another distinction – as the worst player to be named MVP in 35 years, according to one national sports personality.
Fox Sports analyst Nick Wright, said on the show “First Things First” last Thursday that, “When you look at the league of MVPs over history, I say this with respect to Jokic, historically speaking, he would be the worst one we’ve had in 35 years.”READ MORE: Investigators In Arvada Shooting Look For Motive & Gunfire Sources
— Nuggets Fans Only⛏ (@NuggetsFansOnly) May 6, 2021
The comment drew the ire of many Nuggets fans and injured star, Jamal Murray.
Nick Wrong lol
— Jamal Murray (@BeMore27) May 6, 2021READ MORE: 50% Of Coloradans Fully Vaccinated Against COVID, Hospitalizations Reach Lowest Level Since October
One person who wasn’t surprised by the comments was Nuggets head coach Michael Malone.
“Listen, Nikola doesn’t get respect,” Malone said. “The Nuggets don’t get respect. I don’t get respect. Who cares? All I care about is us staying together, us finding ways to win, and continuing to prove people wrong, which I think we’ve done a great job of. I don’t know if there’s been a more resilient team in the last few years.”
Malone points to the different injuries the team has had to overcome this season starting with the loss of Murray with a torn ACL. Without him in the lineup, the Nuggets are 11-4.
“It’s incredible what this team continues to do and we don’t worry about the outside noise,” Malone added.
Will Barton and Monte Morris have also missed time with hamstring injuries and PJ Dozier is sidelined with a right abductor strain. Stepping up with the players out is second-year forward Michael Porter Jr. who’s averaging a career-high 19.4 points this season, doubling his scoring total from his rookie year. Malone believes Porter Jr. should be in the conversation for the league’s comeback player of the year award.
“I give him a tremendous amount of credit for stepping his game up, for him constantly being available and answering the call, and obviously we’re going to need more of that as we move to the postseason.”MORE NEWS: Audit Finds Colorado Program To Flag Opioid Abuse Is Failing, Dozens of Doctors Running 'Pill Mills'
The Nuggets finish the regular season on the road against the Detroit Pistons on Friday the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.