Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic won his third MVP award Wednesday, beating young Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Mavericks leader Luka Doncic. Jokic and the Nuggets are currently trailing the Minnesota Timberwolves 2-0 in the Western Conference Semifinals, the big man still took a moment to thank his team for the accomplishment.

“It’s got to start with the teammates; without them, I cannot do nothing,” Jokic said Wednesday on Inside the NBA on TNT. “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, usually a casual presence in interviews, appeared to be very happy during the segment. He bantered with Shaquille O’Neal, who told him to his face that he believed Gilgeous-Alexander deserved the award. Jokic went on to say that many players deserved it and that it likely came down to minimal differences in play.

Though Jokic seemed to appreciate the honor, his third MVP in four years, he has always stated that personal awards are not nearly as important to him as team accomplishments. After winning his first NBA championship with the Nuggets last year, the chances of a repeat victory are crumbling at the hands of Anthony Edwards and the Timberwolves.

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter!

A week of sports news in your in-box.
We find the sports news you need to know, so you don't have to.

Instead of an MVP award, Edwards has earned a rarer and potentially more distinctive honor in recent weeks. After a superstar-caliber, series-sweeping performance against the Suns, in which he averaged 31 points per game and two road wins over the Nuggets, the young, swaggering point guard has begun to earn comparisons to Michael Jordan.

For his part, Edwards has tried to downplay these comparisons, claiming that he cannot be expected to size up to a six-time NBA champion. On the other hand, after losing to Denver in four straight games last year, the Timberwolves’ improvement in the 2023-24 season has been drastic. Edwards can take a sizeable amount of credit for that. In Games 1 and 2 against Denver, he scored 43 and 27 points, respectively.

As Jokic turns his attention back to his team for Game 3, he finds himself in an unfamiliar position – he and the Nuggets have not trailed in a playoff series since 2022. As the team prepares for two road games in Minnesota, it will be paramount to win at least one, if not both, of those games to have any realistic chance of moving on to the Western Conference Final.

Read more about:

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

Listen to the uInterview Podcast!
Get the most-revealing celebrity conversations with the uInterview podcast!