NBA rumors: Steve Kerr: Nikola Jokic probably should win MVP again

As of right now, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a consensus in the MVP conversation that doesn’t favor Jokic winning for the second season in a row. Warriors coach Steve Kerr appears to have made up his mind. “We played against the reigning MVP, who probably should win it again,” Kerr told reporters after the game. “I don’t have a vote, but Jokic is just an unbelievable player and was spectacular tonight. He makes all of his teammates better. He makes defense so difficult because no matter what you do, he’s got a counter for it. He’s playing the game at such an easy pace and things look so smooth for him out there. With our defense already coming into this game struggling, he’s a tough guy to face when you’re not well-connected at that end of the floor.”

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Luka Doncic had many nice words for his fellow European stars during the All-Star Weekend and he also gave the praise to Giannis Antetokounmpo for both his on and off the court qualities. “You know what I’m gonna say. He’s an amazing player but what amazes me the most is his personality, a great guy just to talk to. He was the MVP twice, I think he’ll be maybe five times more. A great player,” Luka said and stayed humble when asked if it’s his time to grab the MVP honors. “I don’t know, I just want to win a championship. That’s it.”
He has been the talk of the NBA for two straight days. But the Grizzlies guard had no idea that during the team’s practice, the NBA had announced his catch-and-release shot to beat the buzzer at the end of the first half against the Spurs had become the most-viewed Instagram video the league had ever posted. Once he heard the news, all he could do was shrug. “Sheesh,” Morant said. “I’m must-see TV. Me and my teammates. That’s why I got 30 million.”
Q: Did you see Ja Morant’s 50-point game last night and what do you think about what he’s been doing with Memphis? Luka Doncic: “I saw the dunk and the last-second buzzer beater. Amazing. He’s been playing amazing this season, MVP level. Everybody saw this season what he is, and he’s an unbelievable player, unbelievable skills and so fun to watch.”
DeRozan finished the game with 37 points shooting 71 percent from the field, making it his ninth straight 30-point game, a career-high for the veteran. In addition, this is DeRozan’s eighth consecutive game with at least 35 points on 50 percent shooting extending his record farther past Wilt Chamberlain’s run. “You love it, and you hate it,” DeRozan said. “Of course, you don’t want to be down and have the pressure on yourself to try to pull out a game. But when you’re in those moments, you’ve got to take it on. I love the moments. I love the challenge. I love the opportunity. It’s fun to me.”
Keith Pompey: Joel Embiid: "I’ve got to play every single game, so we can all play together and really figure out how to play with each other. But it’s going to be fun.” Can Embiid stay healthy? His MVP case and the #Sixers’ season depend on it.… via @phillyinquirer
Julia Poe: Tristan Thompson wastes no time joining the DeMar DeRozan MVP campaign: "He’s the league MVP in my eyes. Flat out. What he’s able to be doing with Zach out and with Zo and AC out ... for him to be able to just hold the fort down and keep that ship right, that’s what an MVP does."
Malika Andrews: “I did a lot of chasing around trying to get him back and try to make him feel comfortable again. It was tough. I didn’t care anymore.” Joel Embiid on Ben Simmons, James Harden, and the MVP race. Catch our convo on NBA Today:
After Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid battled for the right to be named the NBA's Most Valuable Player all last season, it appears this year's chase for the award could once again come down to the two All-Star big men. Embiid, after coming in second to Jokic in last year's voting, holds a 35-point lead over the Denver Nuggets' reigning MVP in the second edition of ESPN's NBA MVP Straw Poll for the 2021-22 season. Embiid's razor-thin edge is the closest the top two spots have been over the nine iterations of this poll over the past six seasons.
Domantas Sabonis had 22 points on 10-of-15 shooting with 12 rebounds and eight assists for Sacramento. Justin Holiday made six 3-pointers to finish with 18 points. Harrison Barnes added 17. DeRozan came into the game on a hot streak after averaging 37.6 points over the previous seven games, including a 40-point game against the San Antonio Spurs and a 45-point game against the Philadelphia 76ers. “He’s playing like the MVP right now, I think we can all agree,” Fox said.
Etan Thomas: And Giannis, he’s MVP status again this year and, like you said, has actually improved since last year. Kenyon Martin: "Listen, Giannis is the new Lebron. He can be in the MVP convo every season. And the only reason you don’t give it to him is because someone else is playing out of their mind that season. So yeah a lot has to happen before they’re the favorites over Milwaukee."
Do you think Ja Morant is the best player in the league? Jaren Jackson Jr: He’s MVP right now. I know you guys like all those discussions and everything, but if he’s your MVP then we up right now! If he’s MVP, I’m pullin’ up to the crib and we goin’ crazy. I’m not even gonna ask him first, either. His gate code crazy, too. I don’t even know it, but I’ll figure it out when I get there. And then I’m on his ass! MVP, even younger than D-Rose [Derrick Rose, who was 22 years and 191 days old when he won MVP]
Edwards' long-term goals are, in a word, lofty. Without any hesitation, he tells me he wants to be the face of the league in five years. He wants to be a multiple-time MVP and have an NBA championship ring. Outside of Kevin Garnett and his MVP season, those are feats that no one in the Minnesota Timberwolves organization has ever accomplished. "I want to be an All-Star. I want to go deep in the playoffs, definitely past the first round. In five years, I want to be the face of the league and have a couple of MVPs by then and have a ring. In five years, I would expect to go to the Finals for sure," Edwards says.
As for the big man himself, when asked what would mean more to him -- Cameroon triumphing at AFCON or Embiid winning MVP -- he smiles. "That's tough! I want both -- both would be great! "It would have been a better question if you were to ask me between Cameroon winning or me winning a championship!" Asked then which he would prefer, Embiid said, "Both would be great, like I said, I'm a competitor -- I want to win."
Less than 2 weeks after being a 50-1 longshot to win NBA MVP, Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Joel Embiid is now the favorite (+260) at Caesars Sportsbook. Embiid, listed at 50-1 on January 16, is in the midst of a 16-game stretch in which he is averaging 34 points and 10 rebounds per game. The Sixers big man vaulted former MVPs Stephen Curry (+300) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (+325) in the last few days. Denver Nuggets All-NBA big man and last season's MVP Nikola Jokic has the fourth-best odds at +400 while Memphis Grizzlies rising star Ja Morant is fifth at +1400.
Stephen Curry enters 2022 as the leading contender for the MVP award with Kevin Durant in striking distance and Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic also lurking. To determine the top contenders for the MVP award, HoopsHype anonymously polled 20 media members who voted on last year’s official NBA awards for their current top five MVP rankings.
Mark Haynes: Draymond Green on Quin Snyder including him in MVP talk: "I agree with him, and I think that's someone who sees the game for what it is...I don't think it could have been explained any better... The things I do to impact winning, I think there's something to be said for that."
Mark Haynes: Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder on Draymond Green: "I think If you want to put someone in the MVP conversation, he's someone to me... Maybe the numbers don't match up to some of the numbers that some other guys put up...He just does it his way."
Malika Andrews: New for @SportsCenter: James Harden tells ESPN Kevin Durant is “for sure” the league MVP. Plus, how he expects the Nets to play with Kyrie Irving back:
More than five years after winning his second Most Valuable Player award, Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry could be on his way to claiming a third. Curry, who is second in the NBA in scoring and first in both 3-pointers made and attempted, got 94 of the 100 first-place votes cast in the 2021-22 debut of ESPN's MVP straw poll, which was conducted from Dec. 3 through Dec. 6.
Curry (978 points) was followed by Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (610 points, two first-place votes) and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (471 points, three first-place votes). Last year's MVP, Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (256 points), got the other first-place vote and came in fourth overall.
Curry, who is second in the NBA in scoring and first in both 3-pointers made and attempted, got 94 of the 100 first-place votes cast in the 2021-22 debut of ESPN's MVP straw poll, which was conducted from Dec. 3 through Dec. 6. If Curry goes on to win the MVP award, he would tie Wilt Chamberlain for the largest gap between wins (six years) in NBA history. Curry, who will turn 34 in March, also would become the third-oldest MVP in league history, trailing Karl Malone in 1999 and Michael Jordan in 1998.
Curry (978 points) was followed by Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (610 points, two first-place votes) and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (471 points, three first-place votes). Last year's MVP, Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (256 points), got the other first-place vote and came in fourth overall. Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (160 points) rounded out the top five.
Ben Anderson: Quin Snyder on Rudy Gobert as an MVP candidate and the respect he deserves: “Our team is built around Rudy. If you're going to have a team that’s built around you in many respects — that says something right there.”
Spencer Dinwiddie: For example, this NBA MVP Prediction Model was created by self-proclaimed “NBA Nerd” and data scientist Peter Li. Li’s model predicted the 2018-19 season’s MVP would be James Harden, who in actuality came second to Giannis Antetokounmpo that year. The lingering question, however, is would there be a benefit to build an added layer of value on the fan-inclusion process? Potentially. The system could be built with analytics that tracked engagement in tandem with predictions made. These could then be cross-referenced with incumbent methods and integrated based on their efficacy, allowing amateur and professional analysts to financially prosper by participating.
He averaged a triple-double for the fourth time, helped lead the Wizards to the playoffs and broke the NBA's all-time triple-double record. Oscar Robertson, the man whose record he broke, believes Westbrook should've gotten MVP buzz last season as well. "I look at Westbrook, and he got triple-doubles this year and no one even noticed it, they didn't think it was such a big deal," Robertson said on The Knuckleheads podcast. "I think that's totally unfair. I think he should have won [MVP] again. If he [averaged] a triple-double again, and he didn't win [MVP], so why keep stats then?"
Ryan Ward: Odds for 2021-22 NBA season awards have surfaced starting with NBA MVP, via @betonline_ag: FAV: Luka - 9/2 Steph - 7/1 Giannis - 15/2 Durant - 8/1 Embiid - 17/2 Dame - 12/1 LEBRON - 12/1
Jorge Sierra: MOST SEASONS RECEIVING MVP VOTES 🐐 1. LeBron James: 18 in 18 years 2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: 17 in 20 years 6. Michael Jordan: 13 in 15 years 8. Kobe Bryant: 13 in 20 years 15. Wilt Chamberlain: 11 in 14 years
With the announcement of this year’s MVP award voting results, we can now safely say more history was made by the NBA’s elite crop of international players in 2020-21. With Nikola Jokic winning the award plus Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic, Rudy Gobert and Ben Simmons cracking the Top 12, we just had the highest percentage of MVP votes ever go to international players with 74.56 percent.
Michael Scotto: Joel Embiid on finishing second for MVP: “It’s disappointing because as a player you work hard for moments like this, but then again it’s out of my control... I’m focused on the playoffs and winning the championship. We’ve got a good chance, so I’m not worried about those awards"
Tim Reynolds: Jokic wins, Embiid 2nd, Curry 3rd. Derrick Rose got an MVP first-place vote. League source tells AP it was not from media; it was the consensus fan vote. And LeBron James' streak continues: 18 years with at least one MVP vote.
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić is the recipient of the Maurice Podoloff Trophy as the 2020-21 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player, the NBA announced today. With the first Kia NBA MVP Award of his career, Jokić becomes the first player to earn the honor as a member of the Nuggets. He is also the first player from Serbia to be selected as the NBA MVP and joins Dirk Nowitzki (Germany) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece) as MVP winners from Europe.
Jokić received 91 first-place votes and earned 971 total points from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters as well as the Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award fan vote, making for 101 ballots. Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (586 points) finished in second place, followed by Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (453 points) in third place, Milwaukee Bucks forward Antetokounmpo (348 points) in fourth place and Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (139 points) in fifth place.
Michael Singer: Via Monte’s IG.
Bobby Marks: By virtue of winning MVP, Nikola Jokic is now eligible to sign a super max contract in either the 2022 or 2023 offseason. Jokic is not eligible this offseason because he is 1 year shy of the years of service criteria of 7.
Bobby Marks: The Nikola Jokic super max extension in 2022 is projected to be the largest contract in NBA history. *2023-24: $42.6M 2024-25: $44.9M 2025-26: $48.2M 2026-27: $51.5M 2027-28: $54.8M Total of $241M *Based on a salary cap of $121.5M
George Karl: Congrats to the Joker. Special special player! First hoops MVP in Denver since ‘70 when @Spencer Haywood won it with the Rockets!!
Nikola Jokic was named league MVP, a league source confirmed to The Denver Post, becoming the lowest draft pick to ever win the award and the first Nuggets player ever to do so. The former record-holders were Giannis Antetokounmpo and Steve Nash, both chosen No. 15 overall. The Nuggets selected Jokic with the No. 41 pick of the 2014 draft.
Shams Charania: Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic has won the 2020-21 NBA MVP award, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
Michael Singer: Nikola Jokic on Damian Lillard: “He’s up there in that conversation for MVP.” “... I think neither him nor I are thinking about that (individual award).” (Lillard told @Sam Amick he thinks Jokic the is the MVP).
So on that front, how do you see this Nuggets matchup. No Jamal (Murray). They have (Will) Barton with the hamstring issue, and I’m not sure if he’s going to be out there. You have some history with them, and they’re trying to keep it going after losing a pretty important player. What’s your view of the series? Damian Lillard: I mean, they’re not at full strength but a wounded animal is the most dangerous animal. I’m not going into here even thinking about who’s not on the floor, because the MVP of the league is on the floor. They’ve got a lot of talent. Sam Amick: Does he deserve it? Sorry to cut you off, but you know people are going to be curious how you see it. Damian Lillard: I mean, I don’t think he’s missed a game this entire season.
Damian Lillard: But I think when you really look at it, and you see that Jokic has played in every game and he’s dominated the way he has, they’ve had injuries with so many guys out and missed games and he’s kept them rolling. He’s kept them where they are. And Embiid has missed a lot of games. And even when he got hurt, they just kept going, you know? So I would say Jokic. But yeah, I’m not going into the series worried about injuries or nothing. They’re still a great team. We’re going to have our hands full either way.
So do you feel like if Steph’s in (the conversation) then you should still be there too? Damian Lillard: I mean, I don’t go tit-for-tat. I just call it like I see it. I think Steph has had a great season. Obviously, there has to be a conversation about him being in the conversation. But I don’t think he wins it. At the eight seed, I just don’t see how that works. Last year, it was people like (ESPN’s) Stephen A. (Smith saying) ‘Man, I love what Dame is doing but he can’t be the MVP because they’re the eighth seed.’ You know what I’m saying? But last year, I averaged 30 points and eight assists on 46 (percent) from the field, 40 from the three-point line and 90 from free throw (it was actually 88.8). But last year, they’re like, ‘Man, we can’t consider him an MVP because they’re the eighth seed.’ And now it’s like it’s ok. For me, that’s the way that I’m looking at it. (Curry) is definitely in the conversation. There’s no way that you don’t have him in the conversation.
Draymond Green: "[Last season] was really rough. (And) there wasn’t a ton of turnover from last year’s roster to this year’s roster, yet we’re 37-33. Why is that? Steph Curry’s playing. Steph Curry’s playing. And the word MVP is an acronym for Most Valuable Player — Most Valuable Player. I think at times — a lot of times – it’s looked at as “Who’s scoring the most? Who’s putting up the best stats?” This, that and the other. And it’s not always given to the most valuable player. Well, Steph is obviously leading the league in scoring. But look at his value. Look at what he’s done to take a team that won 15 games last year and to have us right there in the hunt for the playoffs. And if I’m not mistaken, Russell Westbrook won MVP (in the 2016-17 season) and they were the seventh or eighth seed."
Draymond Green: "That’s my point, and that’s how I’ve been looking at this thing, is like there’s no rule that says you can’t be an eighth seed and win the MVP because Russ has done it. Now in saying that, I personally thought that year that Russell deserved to be the MVP. So I had no problem with him winning the MVP because I actually thought he f------ deserved it. That OKC team he was on was horses---. Complete horses---. And he carried that team to the playoffs while going out and averaging a triple double, completely destroying every team that he played against. I thought he deserved to be the MVP. Why? Because he was so valuable to that team that he got that team to the playoffs while averaging a triple double. You’re damn right he deserved to be the MVP."
Michael Singer: There's this weird narrative that Nikola Jokic won't lean into the MVP race, when yest., on the record, he finally put himself out there: "I can just say that this season is probably the best season I've had in my life." On MVP, he went even further: "If it happens, it happens."
The Jump: Significance of @New York Knicks turnaround this season? "We had to make a commitment to play for each other and to work hard. Julius Randle has had an MVP type season" —Thibodeau #NBA #NBATwitter #TheJump #NewYorkForever
Asked about the recent MVP talk, Randle said: “For sure, I’m not going to shy away from it. For me, it’s about getting better from game to game, improving as a player. I’m not focused on it. The praise obviously is great and everything but I’m not focused on it. All I’m worried about is getting better, keep leading the team game to game. Our team, I feel like we can compete against anybody.” They have proven that across April and now early May, but the final four games of this trip will be the tell-all – the Nuggets, Suns, Clippers and Lakers with LeBron James.
Randle is averaging 24.2 points, 10.3 rebounds and 5.9 assists and shooting a remarkable 42.7 percent from 3-point range. A little better passer, Jokic is averaging 26.3 points, 10.9 rebounds and 8.5 assists and shooting 40.9. percent from 3. “I’d put him at the top as well,” Gibson said of Randle. “You look at the body of work Julius has put together on a night-to-night basis. Being really professional, especially in a tough market. People understand how tough it is to play in New York and bringing a winning mentality back to the Knicks. Julius has earned credit for the MVP race. He deserves it.”
Harrison Wind: Malone: "I think the fact that we have played as well as we have without Jamal is just another endorsement of Nikola Jokic's MVP candidacy. To put a team on his back. To be a top-10 offense and defense without Jamal Murray. That has been really fun to watch."
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Just hours after the announcement about Mo Wagner missing the Eurobasket, the German team bounced back with an 87-83 win over Belgium in a very close game. Franz Wagner with 23 points and five rebounds and free agent Dennis Schroder with 21 points and seven assists got the job done. Daniel Theis added 8 points for the winning side, which didn’t use Karim Jallow, Maodo Lo, Johannes Thiemann, and Johannes Voigtmann.