AVALANCHE

Nathan MacKinnon, Nikola Jokic make history with same city MVPs

Jun 27, 2024, 6:06 PM

Colorado Avalanche superstar Nathan MacKinnon and Denver Nuggets sensation Nikola Jokic both work at Ball Arena.

And both are the best players in the world at their respective sports.

MacKinnon was awarded the Hart Trophy on Thursday night as the NHL’s MVP. It’s his first time capturing the honor. Meanwhile, Jokic won his third NBA MVP last month.

Denver is so fortunate to watch each guy play 82 times a year and lead their teams on championship runs the past couple of summers.

But with MacKinnon earning the Hart, history was made. For just the second time in the history of the NHL and NBA, the MVPs come from the same city. The only other time it was done was in 1989 when Wayne Gretzky and Magic Johnson both won MVPs while representing Los Angeles. That, of course, was Gretzky with the Kings and Johnson with the Lakers.

What incredible company to keep.

MacKinnon was a monster for the Avalanche this season, registering 140 points, by far the most in his career. His previous high was 111 last year.

MacKinnon also scored 50 goals for the first time in a season, finishing with 51 total to go along with 89 assists. Both were easily the most he’s ever tallied.

Jokic joined an elite group of NBA players when he won his third MVP, becoming just the ninth in the history of the league to do that. He also put up video game numbers this year, something we’ve grown accustomed to. Jokic averaged 26.4 points, 12.4 rebounds and 9.0 assists a game on 58 percent shooting.

Those were good for league bests in Player Efficiency Rating (31), Win Shares (17), Box Plus-Minus (13.2) and Value Over Replacement Player (10.6.).

It’s a special time to be a Denver sports fan. And MacKinnon and Jokic are now in the same breath with Gretzky and  Johnson.

Those are two all-time greats, and when it’s all said and done, Nathan MacKinnon and Nikola Jokic will be as well.

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