Nikola Jokic is once again the NBA MVP

NEW YORK-. Nikola Jokic he did it again. And he once again took over the NBA Most Valuable Player trophy. NBA.

The Serbian Denver Nuggets star was announced Wednesday as the winner of the award – his third in the last four seasons, a feat only six other players have accomplished in league history.

Jokic averaged 26.4 points, 12.4 rebounds and 9 assists. Others had more outstanding averages in each category – and Jokic has had better years in all – but the Balkan basketball player was the only one to appear among the top 10 in the NBA in the areas of points, rebounds and assists per game in this season. season.

He received 79 of a possible 99 first-place votes from a panel of print and electronic reporters, who spoke once the regular season concluded.

“Everything has to start with your teammates,” Jokic told TNT, where the award was announced. “Without them, I am nothing and I can do nothing. The coaches, the players, the organization, the medical staff, the trainers… without them I couldn't be who I am.”

It was perhaps no coincidence that Jokic appeared on TV for the award announcement wearing a T-shirt commemorating the life of one of his mentors, Dejan Milovevic, who was a Golden State assistant coach and died earlier this year due to a heart attack during a tour.

Canadian Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, from Oklahoma City, was second in the voting, while Slovenian Luka Doncic was in third place. Both were among the three most voted for the award for the first time.

It was the third consecutive season that three non-American players have occupied the first three places in the voting.

But this time, the foreigners' dominance was even clearer. Greek Giannis Antetokounmpo, from Milwaukee, placed fourth.

It was the first time in the 69-year history of the NBA that foreign players have monopolized the first four places in the voting. And it was the sixth consecutive year that a player born outside the United States has taken the trophy.

Jokic appeared on all 99 ballots, with 18 votes for second place and two for third place. Gilgeous-Alexander also appeared on all the ballots, with 15 votes for first place, 40 for second, 40 for third, three for fourth and one for fifth.