Updated May 8, 2024 - Sports

Denver Nuggets' Nikola Jokić wins third MVP award

Nikola Jokić secured his third MVP Wednesday. Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Add another award to Denver Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokić's trophy case as he was named MVP Wednesday for the third time in four years.

Why it matters: Jokić became the ninth player in league history to win the title three times, joining the likes of Michael Jordan and LeBron James.

State of play: The Joker averaged 26 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists per game this season — which are all on par with his previous two MVP years.

  • The Nuggets finished tied for the second best record in the NBA and Western Conference with 57 wins and 25 losses.

The other side: This win was arguably his most contested in the eyes of fans as many, including hall-of-famer Shaquille O'Neal, thought Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander should've won the award.

  • Gilgeous-Alexander averaged 30 points per game while leading the Thunder to the No. 1 seed in the West (though they have the same record as the Nuggets).

What they're saying: O'Neal told Jokić as much Wednesday evening on TNT and the Nuggets' big man quipped back: "Thank you, Shaq. We don't judge people here, so that's fine, that's your opinion."

  • On winning the award, Jokić said "It's got to start with your teammates. Without them, I'm nothing ... I cannot be whoever I am without them."

Between the lines: Jokić is continuing his dominance as the league's best big man, capping an incredible four-year run that's seen him garner four all-star selections, make three all-NBA teams, win the 2022-23 NBA championship along with the Western Conference Finals and Finals MVP.

What we're watching: Whether Jokić can lift the Nuggets out of their 0-2 hole in the second-round playoff series against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

  • Jokić scored just 16 points in Denver's Game 2 blowout loss on Monday. Game 3 is Friday at 7:30pm.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include comments from Jokić.

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