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Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic wins third MVP Award in four seasons – Citi Sports Online
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Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic wins third MVP Award in four seasons – Citi Sports Online

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 defeated 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 has to start with the teammates; without them I can’t do anything,” Jokic told TNT on Wednesday after being named MVP. “Coaches, players, organization, medical staff, strength coaches, development coaches. It’s all one big circle. But I can’t be what I am without them.”

Jokic’s third MVP win wasn’t close. He received 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. Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks finished fourth, and New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson finished fifth in the voting.

Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic wins third MVP Award in four seasons – Citi Sports Online
Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets (Photo by Ethan Mito/Clarkson Creative/Getty Images)

“There are a lot of players who deserve it,” Jokic said of the MVP race. “It’s probably the details and the little things (that determine it).”

Gilgeous-Alexander tries to shoot against Luka Doncic Photo courtesy: Getty Images

Jokic is the first center in six decades to win three MVPs in four seasons; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did this from 1973-74 to 1976-77. Jokic is also the ninth player in 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.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Photo courtesy: OKC Thunder

“It’s hard to tell greatness from greatness,” Denver coach Michael Malone said in early April about how Jokic has improved from previous MVP seasons. ‘And that is what he has been doing for several years now. I now know that over the last six years we have had by far the best record in the Western Conference and in that time are only second in the NBA behind, I think, Milwaukee.”

Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks handles the ball (Photo by Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images)

The modest Jokic often says that he doesn’t care so much about winning individual honors, but he does care about the championship. Jokic is trying to lead the Nuggets to a repeat as world champions.

Joke photo courtesy of: AP

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 four years.