Denver’s Nikola Jokić wins 2021-22 KIA NBA most valuable player award

Denver's Nikola Jokić wins 2021-22 KIA NBA most valuable player award

The NBA announced today that Nikola Jokić, a center with the Denver Nuggets, has been selected the Kia NBA Most Valuable Player for 2021-22.

Jokić has now won the Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award twice, the first being last season.

He joins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Stephen Curry, Tim Duncan, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Moses Malone, Steve Nash, and Bill Russell as the 13th player to win the award in consecutive seasons.

A global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters awarded Joki 875 points (65 first-place votes). Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers came in second with 706 points (26 first-place votes).

Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks finished third with 595 points (nine first-place votes), followed by Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns in fourth place with 216 points and Luka Doni of the Dallas Mavericks in fifth place with 146 points.

Each first-place vote earned 10 points, seven points for second-place votes, five points for third-place votes, three points for fourth-place votes, and one point for fifth-place votes.

The top three and four of the top five finishers in voting for the Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award are all international players for the first time, with Joki (Serbia), Embiid (Cameroon), and Antetokounmpo (Greece) making up the top three and Doni (Slovenia) rounding out the top five.

Jokić is the second European player to win the award more than once, joining Antetokounmpo, the MVP in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons.

In his seventh NBA season, Jokić averaged 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds, 7.9 assists, 1.47 steals and 0.85 blocks per game, setting career highs in each category except assists (second highest). Jokić, who played 74 games and averaged 33.5 minutes, ranked sixth in the NBA in points, second in rebounds, eighth in assists, 12th steals and 33rd in blocks per game. He led the league in total rebounds (1,019) and total defensive rebounds (813). His career-high 58.3 field goal percentage was eighth highest in the NBA.

Jokić, 27, became the first player in NBA history to record at least 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 500 assists in a season and the first player to average at least 25.0 points, 13.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists in a season. He led the NBA in triple-doubles with 19 and double-doubles with 66, both single-season records for a Nuggets player.

Jokić earned his fourth consecutive NBA All-Star selection and second straight All-Star start. He twice was named the Kia NBA Western Conference Player of the Month (January and March/April) and the NBA Western Conference Player of the Week (Jan. 24 and April 4).

Behind Jokić, the Nuggets (48-34) qualified for the NBA Playoffs presented by Google Pixel for the fourth consecutive season. With Denver trying to clinch a playoff spot late in the season, Jokić averaged 35.7 points, 16.3 rebounds, 7.4 assists and 2.14 steals in his final seven games.

The Nuggets selected Jokić with the 41st overall pick during the second round of the 2014 NBA Draft. Last season, he became the lowest-drafted player to win the Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award with the exception of three-time recipient Moses Malone, who was not selected in the NBA Draft.

Jokić will be presented with a special edition 75th Anniversary commemorative trophy today in celebration of the honor, gifted in addition to the Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award trophy, which he will receive later. The commemorative trophy, composed of a solid crystal basketball, features the NBA 75 logo 3D laser etched and suspended within its center.

The voting results for the 2021-22 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award are below. The balloting was tabulated by the independent accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP. Complete ballots for each voter will be posted at after the announcement of all end-of-season awards.