Nikola Jokić had a sensational season – he earned the MVP award and deservedly so. Usually, MVPs are featured in big, nationally televised, and hugely anticipated games such as opening night games and Christmas Day games. However, none of these games in the upcoming season will feature the Denver Nuggets. Does this mean Jokić could be the most unpopular MVP ever?
Christmas Day games
The teams that will play on December 25 are Atlanta Hawks, New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns, Brooklyn Nets, and the Los Angeles Lakers. As expected, these teams feature loaded lineups and matchups that are mouthwatering for the fans. On the other hand, the Nuggets will miss star player Jamal Murray while he is recovering from an ACL injury, which probably explains why Denver is not featured during Christmas Day.
In the history of Christmas games, Dwyane Wade holds the best win-loss record with ten games won against three losses. His banana boat friend probably isn’t a big fan of the Christmas game – LeBron is 9-5 when playing on Christmas. Jokić, despite registering 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 8.3 assists per game last season, will not get a chance to play. It could be major disrespect from the league or proof that the Serbian star and the Nuggets lack global appeal.
The team that Nuggets could have replaced
Fans were saying that a Denver-Dallas matchup is more exciting than a Dallas-Utah one. Two European bigs in Jokić and Kristaps Porzingis could create more headlines than a Jokić vs. Gobert one. Not to mention Jokić, the reigning MVP against MVP favorite Luka Dončić. Nikola is one of the most low-maintenance stars the NBA has and probably won’t get too upset about this, but best believe coach Michael (not Mike) Malone will use this to build the “us against them” mentality every championship-caliber team needs.
Nikola dominated the MVP votes. He held a 91 to 5 advantage over the runner-up in MVP voting, Stephen Curry. This shows that even though The Joker may not excite the crowd as more athletic players do, those who know basketball appreciate the reigning MVP and his game. Doesn’t matter who else is playing on the team – if Jokić is out there, great basketball is guaranteed.