NUGGETS

Nikola Jokic offers his opinion of ‘unhealthy’ NBA MVP race

Mar 8, 2023, 11:30 PM | Updated: 11:39 pm

Nikola Jokic is the favorite to win a third-straight MVP and become the first NBA player to three-peat since Hall of Famer Larry Bird did it in the mid-1980s.

Jokic is having the best season of his career personally and on his best team so far. For the first-place Nuggets he’s nearly averaging a triple-double per game on record-setting efficiency. But Wednesday’s Denver Nuggets blowout loss to the Chicago Bulls was a crack in the seven-footer’s near-impenetrable armor.

His streak of shooting over 50% in every game since October was ended—going down as the third longest in NBA history—Jokic’s Nuggets for the first time season lost while at full strength in Denver and the big man’s supporting cast was eyeing individual records while putting in a sub-par performance.

“It’s one game,” Jokic said. “I actually think we are playing good. We have weaknesses, everybody has weaknesses.”

The Nuggets are still 8-2 in their last 10 games and when pressed on those shortcomings Jokic slyly said he wouldn’t share what they are.

Denver has gotten better as has Jokic’s supporting cast as the season has progressed. But the Nuggets have one on the road Friday and another at home on Sunday ahead of a long east coast swing.

When the Nuggets return to Denver later in the month Jokic will host MVP candidates Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo. While the conversation around Jokic and the MVP has been at points ridiculous for years now, things have recently gotten very odd.

ESPN’s Kendrick Perkins has incorrectly accused Jokic of stat padding and later the MVP voters of racism. ESPN has walked back some of those claims.

To his part, Jokic said he heard what Perkins said on YouTube and offered, “I just find it interesting to say something just to give those guys something to talk about.”

“I really don’t know,” Jokic said when asked what he thinks sparked all of the hoopla and if he’s paying attention to the conversations. “I think that it’s not really healthy.”

Jokic is in the league’s top five for assists and rebounds, top 20 for points scored and top 30 for steals while having the chance to be the NBA’s first ever 60% from the field 40% from three 80% from the line shooter. Jokic’s odds dropped after the game against the Bulls according to sportsbooks, but sharps still have him as the runaway MVP. And despite the loss, the Nuggets are still seven games up on the Kings in second with only 16 games to play.

***

Nuggets

Russell Westbrook Denver Christian Braun...

Will Petersen

First calls for Russell Westbrook to start in Denver have begun

Paul Pierce shared an interesting thought as he wants to see Russell Westbrook start in Denver, pushing Jamal Murray to shooting guard

3 days ago

Russell Westbrook #0 of the LA Clippers celebrates after scoring against the Denver Nuggets...

Jake Shapiro

Westbrook traded, expected to be cut and sign with Nuggets

With heavy suggestion from three-time MVP Nikola Jokic, the Denver Nuggets will add former MVP Russell Westbrook

4 days ago

Michael Malone Nuggets NBA Power Rankings...

Will Petersen

Nuggets have a significant fall in post-free agency Power Rankings

The Nuggets have taken a significant tumble in ESPN's latest Power Rankings, going from No. 2 in the NBA on June 17 to No. 7 on July 17

4 days ago

Hall of famer Peyton Manning and son Marshall are seen in attendance during Game Five of the 2023 N...

Jake Shapiro

Two Denver icons among ESPN’s top 100 pro athletes of the 2000s

Peyton Manning and Nikola Jokic, two athletes whose legend will forever echo the Mile High City with a lasting impact of greatness

5 days ago

Nikola Jokic #15 of Serbia...

Jake Shapiro

Steph Curry and USA smack Jokic’s Serbia in Olympics preview

The Americans pummeled the Serbians in Nikola Jokic and crew's final exhibition game ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics

5 days ago

Russell Westbrook of the Los Angeles Clippers against the Denver Nuggets...

Jake Shapiro

Nuggets are the frontrunners to get Westbrook but there’s a catch

The Denver Nuggets are the favorites to get Russell Westbrook this summer but the long-rumored move is being held up

6 days ago

Nikola Jokic offers his opinion of ‘unhealthy’ NBA MVP race