NEW YORK – Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić has been named the 2021-22 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player, the NBA announced today.
This is the second Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award for Jokić, who also earned the honor last season. He becomes the 13th player to win the award in consecutive seasons, joining 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.
Jokić received 875 points (65 first-place votes) from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid finished in second place with 706 points (26 first-place votes). Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo finished in third place with 595 points (nine first-place votes), followed by Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker in fourth place with 216 points and Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Dončić in fifth place with 146 points. Players received 10 points for each first-place vote, seven points for each second-place vote, five points for each third-place vote, three points for each fourth-place vote and one point for each fifth-place vote.
This is the first time that both the top three and four of the top five finishers in voting for the Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award are international players, with Jokić (Serbia), Embiid (Cameroon) and Antetokounmpo (Greece) comprising the top three and Dončić (Slovenia) joining them in the top five. Jokić is the second European player to win the award more than eleven, 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 was twice 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.
A year-by-year list of the Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award winners:
• 2021-22 — Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets (Voting)
• 2020-21 — Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets (Voting)
• 2019-20 — Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks (Voting)
• 2018-19 — Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks (Voting)
• 2017-18 — James Harden, Houston Rockets (Voting)
• 2016-17 — Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder (Voting)
• 2015-16 — Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors (Voting)
• 2014-15 — Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
• 2013-14 — Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
• 2012-13 — LeBron James, Miami Heat
• 2011-12 — LeBron James, Miami Heat
• 2010-11—Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
• 2009-10 — LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
• 2008-09 — LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
• 2007-08 — Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
• 2006-07 — Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks
• 2005-06 — Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns
• 2004-05 — Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns
• 2003-04 — Kevin Garnett, Minnesota Timberwolves
• 2002-03 — Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
• 2001-02 — Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
• 2000-01 — Allen Iverson, Philadelphia 76ers
• 1999-00 — Shaquille O’Neal, Los Angeles Lakers
• 1998-99 — Karl Malone, Utah Jazz
• 1997-98 — Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
• 1996-97 — Karl Malone, Utah Jazz
• 1995-96—Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
• 1994-95 — David Robinson, San Antonio Spurs
• 1993-94 — Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston Rockets
• 1992-93 — Charles Barkley, Phoenix Suns
• 1991-92—Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
• 1990-91—Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
• 1989-90—Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers
• 1988-89—Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers
• 1987-88—Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
• 1986-87—Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers
• 1985-86—Larry Bird, Boston Celtics
• 1984-85—Larry Bird, Boston Celtics
• 1983-84—Larry Bird, Boston Celtics
• 1982-83—Moses Malone, Philadelphia 76ers
• 1981-82—Moses Malone, Houston Rockets
• 1980-81—Julius Erving, Philadelphia 76ers
• 1979-80 — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Los Angeles Lakers
• 1978-79—Moses Malone, Houston Rockets
• 1977-78—Bill Walton, Portland Trail Blazers
• 1976-77 — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Los Angeles Lakers
• 1975-76 — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Los Angeles Lakers
• 1974-75—Bob McAdoo, Buffalo Braves
• 1973-74 — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Milwaukee Bucks
• 1972-73 — Dave Cowens, Boston Celtics
• 1971-72 — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Milwaukee Bucks
• 1970-71 — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Milwaukee Bucks
• 1969-70 — Willis Reed, New York Knicks
• 1968-69—Wes Unseld, Baltimore Bullets
• 1967-68—Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia 76ers
• 1966-67—Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia 76ers
• 1965-66—Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia 76ers
• 1964-65—Bill Russell, Boston Celtics
• 1963-64—Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati Royals
• 1962-63—Bill Russell, Boston Celtics
• 1961-62—Bill Russell, Boston Celtics
• 1960-61—Bill Russell, Boston Celtics
• 1959-60—Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia Warriors
• 1958-59 — Bob Pettit, St. Louis Hawks
• 1957-58—Bill Russell, Boston Celtics
• 1956-57 — Bob Cousy, Boston Celtics
• 1955-56 — Bob Pettit, St. Louis Hawks