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NBA: Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic clinches third MVP Award in 4 seasons

By primenewsghana
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Denver Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic continued to add to his legacy as one of the best NBA players ever by winning his third Most Valuable Player trophy on Wednesday.

Jokic earned the award for the third time in four seasons, succeeding last season’s MVP, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid. Jokic topped Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks, who finished second and third, respectively, in the voting.

“It’s got to start with the teammates; without them, I cannot do nothing,” Jokic said Wednesday on TNT after being named MVP. “Coaches, players, organization, medical staff, strength coaches, development coaches. It is all one big circle. But I cannot be whatever I am without them.”

Jokic’s third MVP victory wasn’t close. He garnered 79 first-place votes and a total of 926 points. Gilgeous-Alexander received 15 first-place votes and 640 points. Doncic claimed four first-place votes and 566 points. The Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo finished fourth, and New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson was fifth in voting.

“There’s a lot of players that deserve it,” Jokic said of the MVP race. “It’s probably details and the small things [that determine it].”

Jokic is the first center in six decades to win MVP three times in four seasons; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did so from 1973-74 to 1976-77. Jokic also is the ninth player in the NBA history to win at least three MVPs, joining Abdul-Jabbar (6 total), Michael Jordan (5), Bill Russell (4), LeBron James (4), Wilt Chamberlain, Moses Malone, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.

“It’s hard to differentiate greatness from greatness from greatness,” Denver coach Michael Malone said in early April of how Jokic has gotten better from previous MVP seasons. “And then that’s what he’s been over multiple years now. I know the last six years now, we’ve had by far the best record in the Western Conference and only second of the NBA behind, I think, Milwaukee in that time.”

The humble Jokic often says he doesn’t care about individual honors as much as he covets the championship. Jokic is trying to lead the Nuggets to a repeat as world champs.

Should he do so, the Nuggets big man will have put together a four-year run that only four other all-time greats have done. Russell, Bird, Johnson and James are the only players to win three regular-season MVPs and two NBA titles in a four-year span.