Thursday, May 23, 2024

Nikola Jokić NBA MVP Hat Trick! Nuggets Star Joins Legends With 3rd Award in 4 Years

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The NBA’s most unique and multidimensional talent has summited the individual mountaintop once again. Nikola Jokić, the Serbian super-center for the Denver Nuggets, has been named the league’s Most Valuable Player for the 2023-24 season. It’s an extraordinary achievement – his third MVP in just four years – vaulting Jokić into the stratospheric company of the game’s true gods.

Only eight other celestial beings in the hallowed annals of professional basketball have ever won three or more Maurice Podoloff Trophies: Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Moses Malone, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James. From this transcendent season forward, the Nuggets’ unique 7-foot point-center belongs among those pantheon names.

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Jokić was a runaway winner over fellow finalists Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Luka Dončić of the Dallas Mavericks. In many ways, this felt inevitable after his latest tour de force. The 28-year-old devastated the NBA with an ultra-rare combination of skilled scoring, physical rebounding, and visionary playmaking.

His averages: 26.4 points, 12.4 rebounds, 9.0 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.9 blocks per game. He shot a ridiculous 58.3% from the field and splashed 2.9 threes per game at a 35.9% clip. Despite his lumbering frame, Jokić played with a whirlwind style, accumulating numbers like a prodigious stat-stuffer yet doing so with purposeful craft and preternatural feel.

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Traditional counting stats could never capture the full essence of Jokić’s sovereignty over the game. His 17.0 win shares paced the NBA for a fourth consecutive season, topping even insane two-way forces like Giannis Antetokounmpo. Jokić’s player efficiency rating of 32.8 didn’t just lead the league – it established a new all-time PER record, dethroning Michael Jordan and LeBron James themselves.

Jokić’s brilliance powered Denver to a 57-25 record, earning them the No. 2 seed in a rugged Western Conference playoff slate. The Nuggets dispatched LeBron’s Lakers with relative ease in the first round. But their title defense has veered perilously off course in the semis against the tenacious Minnesota Timberwolves, who stunningly stole the first two games on Denver’s home floor.

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If the Nuggets hope to become the first repeat champions since the Warriors’ dynasty, Jokić will need to summon some postseason magic starting with Game 3 in Minneapolis on Friday. His unique galaxy-brain mastery as a scoring hub, glass-crasher, and ball-mover could be Denver’s only path to the cosmic survival required for another ring.

Regardless of these playoffs’ outcome, Nikola Jokić has etched indelible starlight across the basketball universe. He’s a truly singular talent and now a triple-crown MVP – an all-time immortal still lingering in his ultra-transcendent prime. For the supreme Serbian, the sky is the limit and his starry odyssey just crescendos ever higher.

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Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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