Jokic turns 13th Player in NBA history to win back-to-back MVP honors and first center to do so since Moses Malone in ’82-’83
Denver, May 11, 2022 – It was announced today that Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić has been named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player for the 2021-22 season by media representatives. It is the second consecutive season that Jokić has received MVP honors, finishing 13thth Player in NBA history to do so, and the first center since Moses Malone in 1982-83.
27-year-old Jokić capped another historic campaign by becoming the first player in NBA history to average 25+ points, 13+ rebounds and 6+ assists for an entire season. He also became the first player in NBA history to record at least 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 500 assists in a single season. Jokić also earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination this season, his second consecutive year being named an All-Star starter. He was twice named Western Conference Player of the Month (January and March/April) and twice Western Conference Player of the Week (January 24 and April 4).
“It has been a true pleasure to watch Nikola grow into one of the most extraordinary and unique players in NBA history,” he said Governor E. Stanley Kroenke. “He so deserves this honor. In a season where other exceptional players have also raised the bar to a new level, this award carries even more weight and meaning. Drafting second round to become a consecutive NBA MVP is a testament to Nikola’s work ethic, character and dedication to the sport. He shows up every day trying to improve not only his game and himself but also that of his teammates and the organization as a whole. His journey is as remarkable as it is inspiring. We look forward to many more great seasons with Nikola as our anchor and leader.”
“Nikola is an incredible player and an incredible person and we couldn’t be prouder that he represents our organization,” he said President Josh Kroenke. “He’s everything the MVP should stand for, a truly selfless leader who makes everyone around him better and a tireless work ethic that has made him one of the best basketball players in the entire world. To receive this award in consecutive years shows how special he is and we are grateful to have him in a Nuggets uniform.”
Joker again averaged career bests across the board with 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds and 7.9 assists in 33.5 minutes per game. He shot a career-high from the field (.583) while adding a career-high 1.47 steals and a career-high .85 blocks per game. He recorded NBA season highs with 19 triple-doubles and 66 double-doubles, passed Fat Lever for most triple-doubles in a single season by one nugget, and surpassed his own 60 double-doubles in 2020-21 for most in a season by a lump. He led the NBA in PER (Player Efficiency Rating) and placed 1stSt total rebounds (2nd in role play), 5th in total points (6th in ppg), 6th total assists (8thth in apg), 10th total steals (12th in the SpG), 8th in field goal percent and 4th in true shooting percentage.
Jokić also led the league in Win Shares (15.2), Offensive Win Shares (10.8), Box Plus/Minus (13.7), Offensive Box Plus/Minus (9.2) and Value Over Replacement Player (9 ,8) on. Additionally, Joker led the Nuggets in total points, rebounds and assists for the fifth straight season, becoming the first player in NBA history to accomplish the feat (no one had done it in four straight seasons before Nikola last year) .
“To see Nikola grow into one of the few consecutive MVPs this league has seen has been truly incredible,” he said President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly. “It shows who Nikola is as a person and as a basketball player – hard working, extremely motivated and committed to improving himself and all of his teammates in every way possible. We couldn’t be happier for Nikola and his entire family and support system; without them this day is not possible.”
“I don’t know what else you can say about Nikola at this point,” he said head coach Michael Malone. “He’s been constantly improving his game, he’s consistently proven people wrong when they doubt him and he’s consistently the best player on the floor night after night. I’ve said it many times before, I’m very grateful to coach Nikola Jokić and just as grateful for the bond we’ve built off the field in our seven years together.”
A native of Sombor, Serbia, he was originally drafted by Denver at 41St Pick of the 2014 NBA Draft. Last season, he became the lowest draft pick to win MVP (previously Nash & Antetokounmpo with 15th overall) and the first center to win MVP since Shaquille O’Neal in 2000. Jokić has played in 527 career games (486 starts) for the Nuggets and owns career averages of 19.7 points, 10.4 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.20 steals per game. He has also played in 48 playoff games (all starts) for Denver, averaging 26.4 points, 11.5 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.00 steals per game.