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Nikola Jokic Wins 2021 Most Valuable Player Award

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  • Nikola Jokic Wins 2021 Most Valuable Player Award

    Seven years ago, the Denver Nuggets used the 41st pick in the NBA draft on an unheralded center from Serbia.

    On Tuesday, Nikola Jokic became the sixth international player to win the NBA's Most Valuable Player Award.

    The Denver star was the runaway winner of the award, claiming 91 of the 101 first-place votes and 971 total points after playing all 72 regular-season games for the Nuggets this season -- one of just 11 players to accomplish that feat in this pandemic-shortened campaign -- while also putting together one of the best statistical seasons in NBA history.

    Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry finished second and third, respectively, behind Jokic in the final voting, followed by Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, the winner of the award the past two seasons, and Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul.

    Jokic became the first center since Shaquille O'Neal in 2000 to win the league's top individual honor.

    He finished the season with career-best averages of 26.4 points and 8.3 assists and tying a career best by averaging 10.8 rebounds. He also shot 56.6% from the field, 38.8% from 3-point range and 86.8% from the foul line.