NEW YORK – Long before the decision was announced, it was expected that one man would take home the National Basketball Association’s biggest individual honor.
Nikola Jokic was expected to win the MVP award after an outstanding season with the Nuggets in which he averaged 24.6 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 8.3 assists in 72 games this season. He played a big part in Denver’s grabbing of a No. 3 seed in the playoffs and a first round win over the Trail Blazers. They’ll open up their second round series against the Suns tonight in Phoenix.
He got 91 first place votes, solidifying his dominant victory, but one of the five other players to get one of those tallies was a surprise.
Englewood native and former Simeon High School star Derrick Rose’s efforts for the Knicks during the 2020-2021 season earned him a first place vote for MVP. It’s the only one he recieved in the voting as he didn’t receive one for second, third, fourth, or fifth.
According to Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press, the vote didn’t come from a member of the media but rather the fans, who got a consensus vote for the honor.
Rose, who won the NBA MVP with the Bulls in 2011, played in 35 games for New York this season, coming off the bench for all but three of those games. He averaged 14.7 points and dished out 4.2 assists in his 26.8 minutes per game this past season, helping the Knicks to their first playoff appearance since the 2012-2013 season.
Tom Thibodeau, who coached Rose with the Bulls and then this year again in New York, was recently named the league’s coach of the year.