Nikola Jokic Makes History As Nuggets Win First Championship, Earns Finals MVP Honors

Photo: Instagram/Nikola Jokic

The Denver Nuggets have clinched their first-ever NBA championship with Nikola Jokic being crowned the 2023 Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP.

After a five-game series against the Miami Heat, Jokic's outstanding performance, averaging 30.2 points, 14 rebounds, and 7.2 assists, secured him the highly coveted award.

Even before the series began, Jokic was widely considered the favorite for the honor, and the panel of voters unanimously selected him.

Photo: Instagram/Nikola Jokic

Jokic's achievement holds great historical significance. As only the fifth internationally-born player to receive the Finals MVP award, he joins the ranks of basketball legends such as Hakeem Olajuwon, Tony Parker, Dirk Nowitzki, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

It's worth noting that although Tim Duncan was also born outside the continental United States in the Virgin Islands, Jokic is the first true center to claim the award since Shaquille O'Neal in 2002. This season's Finals MVP selection highlights a remarkable trend of diversity.

Jokic becomes the sixth different player in as many seasons to earn the honor, marking the first time since the 2004-09 seasons that there has been such a streak of non-repeating winners. The NBA typically sees star players dominating the award for multiple championships in short timeframes, making this run of changing winners an exceptional occurrence.

Jokic's game style sets him apart in NBA history. His exceptional passing ability and scoring prowess in the post make him a truly unique player, with no other big man combining these skills to such a degree. 

His offensive prowess positions him among the all-time greats, and at a relatively young age, he is just beginning to leave his mark on the league. While this is Jokic's first Finals MVP award, many believe it will not be his last, as he continues to build an extraordinary legacy.

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Source: CBS Sports


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