It’s safe to say that Nikola Jokić is no longer an afterthought to some tasty Mexican fare.
The 7-foot Serbian, who was originally drafted by the Nuggets in the middle of a Taco Bell commercial in 2014, is now the NBA’s Most Valuable Player.
By having one of the best all-around seasons for a big man in recent memory, Jokić has put the world on notice. He’s only the sixth international player to win the award, and he becomes the lowest-drafted player to ever hold the title of MVP.
The Joker was drafted in the second round with the 41st overall pick in the 2014 Draft. He’s also the first center to win the MVP since Shaq did it in 2000 — 21 years!
It’s so great to see a player like Jokić win the league’s top award in a landslide. With basically no athletic advantage, he was able to carve out a space in the league through his IQ, skill, and deception. He’s probably the most purely skilled big man to play in the league since Hakeem Olajuwon, and that says a lot.
He can orchestrate the game like a point guard and see developments in the game before they happen. His basketball IQ and passing creativity set him apart from everyone else. And what seals the deal for him is his ability to be so efficient from the floor.
Along with the 8.3 assists and 10.8 rebounds per night, he’s giving you 26.4 points on 56 percent shooting. There’s nothing you can do to stop that efficiency.
Seeing Jokić come up from the chubby kid in Serbia to league MVP just makes you feel a little good inside — unlike most burritos. His game is the epitome of what the league has transitioned to. Skill and versatility have become the most valuable commodities in the game and it’s the reason why Jokić is able to excel in Denver.
It would have been interesting to see if the Nuggets still had Jamal Murray for this playoff run, would they be able to make it to the NBA Finals. Nonetheless wherever the Nuggets finish this season won’t take away from the year Jokić had.
A man who once had his name overshadowed by a Taco Bell burrito (it did look good, to be fair) has rightly, and finally, taken his place at center stage.