(CBS4) – Denver Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic has earned a second straight NBA Most Valuable Player trophy to become the second consecutive international player to win two in a row. The news came out through sources earlier this week, but the official league announcement didn’t come until late Wednesday afternoon.
The 27-year-old from Serbia averaged 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds and 7.9 assists to take home MVP honors.
The news was delivered to Jokic in his hometown of Sombor, and the team released a great video of Jokic hugging friends, family members and Nuggets staff upon learning the news.
Surprise in Sombor✈️🇷🇸 We flew to Serbia to surprise the BACK-TO-BACK MVP! And, wow, this moment was special. pic.twitter.com/aFvIEDgnSj
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) May 11, 2022
Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo earned the title in 2019 and 2020. International players finished 1-2-3 in this year’s MVP voting.
Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid finished runner-up and Antetokounmpo was third.
Jokic carried the Nuggets almost single-handedly considering the season-ending injuries to the team’s other top players in Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. The fact that Denver made the playoffs and won 48 games is a testament to Jokic’s worth to the Nuggets.
Without diving too deep into the NBA’s advanced metrics, which measure a players statistical impact, Jokic was the regular season leader by a wide margin in all of the key metrics that are most often used to measure a player’s performance.
(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)