Tuechicken late David Stern was NBA Commissionerone of his great dreams was that the league would be a catapult for the development of basketball outside of the United States, perhaps even in his best dreams and vision he would not have predicted what happened in the 2021-2022 MVP voting . , won Denver Nuggets‘ Serbian Nikola Djokic.
A once in a lifetime moment for Nikola Jokic
Jokic was surprised by his home in Sombor, Serbiawhere the Nuggets went to pay their respects to him, bringing this talented player to tears, a ceremony very much in keeping with the current times in the NBA.
The fact that Jokic took first place in the voting is followed by Philadelphia 76ers Cameroonian Joel Embiid and Milwaukee Bucks Greek Giannis Antetokounmpo became the first time in NBA history that the first three MVP finalists were not born in the United States, and if we take into account that Dallas Slovenian Luka Doncic of the Mavericks finished in fifth place, the first time four of the top five were international players.
NBA MVP: Four consecutive years for international players
But the trend did not stop there, because also for the first time in the history of the NBA the last four winners were not born in the USA at the time of receiving the awardthe last two years it has been won by Jokić and the previous two by “Greek Freak”, the only two Europeans to have won the award more than eleven.
Since the MVP award was established in the NBA in 1955, there have only been six players born outside of the continental United States, and five other than Tim Duncan (born in the US Virgin Islands) have won this award and the only other player to win it twice was Canadian Steve Nash (2004-2005 and 2005-2006 with Phoenix Suns).
How many international players have become NBA MVPs?
Apart from Jokic, Antetokounmpo and Nash, two other international players who once became MVPs were Dirk Nowitzki from Germany (2006-2007 with Dallas Mavericks) and Hakim Olajuwon from Nigeria (1993-1994 with the Houston Rockets).