Jokić becomes thirteenth player in NBA history to win back-to-back MVP Awards and first center to achieve this 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 Precious Player for the 2021-22 season as voted on by members of the media. It’s the second straight season that Jokić has earned MVP honors, becoming the thirteenth player in NBA history to perform this and the primary center to achieve this since Moses Malone in 1982-83.
Jokić, 27, capped off one other historic campaign by becoming the primary player in NBA history to average 25+ points, 13+ rebounds and 6+ assists for a whole season. He also became the primary player in NBA history to record a minimum of 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 straight yr being named an All-Star starter. He was named Western Conference Player of the Month twice (Jan. and March/April) in addition to Western Conference Player of the Week twice (Jan. 24 and Apr. 4).
“It’s been a real joy watching Nikola grow to be one of the crucial special and unique players in NBA history,” said Governor E. Stanley Kroenke. “He’s so deserving of this honor. In a season during which other extraordinary players also raised the bar to latest heights, this award is freighted with still more weight and meaning. To emerge from the second-round of the draft to develop into a back-to-back NBA MVP is a testament to Nikola’s work ethic, character and dedication to the game. He shows up day-after-day attempting to improve not only his game and himself but in addition that of his teammates and all the organization. His journey is as remarkable because it is inspiring. We stay up for many more great seasons ahead with Nikola as our anchor and leader.”
“Nikola is an incredible player and an incredible person and we couldn’t be prouder to have him represent our organization,” stated President Josh Kroenke. “He’s all the things the MVP must be about, a really selfless leader who makes everyone around him higher and a tireless work ethic that has made him the most effective basketball players in all the world. To earn this award in back-to-back years shows how special he’s and we’re grateful to have him in a Nuggets uniform.”
Joker again averaged career-highs across the board with 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds and seven.9 assists in 33.5 minutes per game. He shot a career-high from the sphere (.583) while adding a career-high 1.47 steals and a career-high .85 blocks per game. He registered NBA season highs with 19 triple-doubles and 66 double-doubles, passing Fat Lever for many triple-doubles in a single season by a Nugget and surpassing his own 60 double-doubles in 2020-21 for many in a season by a Nugget. He led the NBA in PER (Player Efficiency Rating), finished 1st in total rebounds (2nd in rpg), fifth in total points (sixth in ppg), sixth in total assists (eighth in apg), tenth in total steals (twelfth in spg), eighth in field goal percentage 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 Substitute Player (9.8). Moreover, Joker led the Nuggets in total points, rebounds and assists for the fifth consecutive season, becoming the primary player in NBA history to perform this feat (nobody had done this in 4 straight seasons prior to Nikola last yr).
“To look at Nikola grow to be one among the few back-to-back MVPs this league has ever seen has been truly incredible,” said President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly. “it’s indicative of who Nikola is as an individual and a basketball player – hard working, extremely motivated and dedicated to bettering himself and all of his teammates any way he can. We couldn’t be happier for Nikola and his entire family and support system; without them at the present time isn’t possible.”
“I don’t know what else you’ll be able to say about Nikola at this point,” stated Head Coach Michael Malone. “He’s consistently improved his game, he’s consistently proven people unsuitable once they doubt him and he’s consistently the perfect player on the ground night in and night out. I’ve said it repeatedly before, I’m extremely grateful to educate Nikola Jokić and just as grateful for the bond that we’ve built off the court in our seven years together.”
The Sombor, Serbia native was originally drafted by Denver with the forty first pick of the 2014 NBA Draft. Last season he became the bottom draft position to win the MVP (previous Nash & Antetokounmpo at fifteenth overall) and the primary center to win MVP since Shaquille O’Neal in 2000. Jokić has appeared in 527 profession games (486 starts) for the Nuggets and owns profession averages of 19.7 points, 10.4 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.20 steals per game. He has also appeared in 48 playoff games (all starts) for Denver, averaging 26.4 points, 11.5 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.00 steals per game.