Former NBA Star Has Harsh Words for Nuggets Nikola Jokic: ‘Worst MVP’

Nikola Jokic

Getty Nikola Jokic

Denver Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic has won two Most Valuable Awards and may very well be on his way to winning his third. Despite his accomplishments, former NBA star Gilbert Arenas

“Jokic is probably, statistically, when it comes to overall game, the worst MVP winner,” Arenas said on Nightcap in a clip aggregated by NBACentral’s X account. “He’s the worst MVP winner in the last 40 years.

“When you’re talking about MVP, the guys outside of first and second place, their teams was first and second place. outside of first and second place, their teams was first and second place. The people who won the MVP, their teams was first and second.”

Arenaa then used previous MVP recipients to explain his point further.

‘When [Michael] Jordan won it, his team record, they were seventh in the NBA. That year, he averaged 35 [points], six [assists], five [rebounds], three steals, All-Star MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, scoring title, steals leader – that was the MVP. Historic year, that makes sense.”

He also compared Jordan’s accomplishments to Jokic’s when the Nuggets center won his first MVP.

“In 2021, Jokic’s team was 5th. He averaged 26 [points], 8 [assists], and 10 [rebounds]. What was the historic part of that? There was no history. ‘Oh, a big man almost had a triple-double, let’s give it to him.’ That’s what the narrative was. A big man almost, not did, almost won the triple-double, and they gave it to him when his team record was like that,” Arenas said.

From 2005 to 2007, Arenas made three consecutive NBA All-Star teams, all with the Washington Wizards.

Champ Says Older Euro Players Are Better Than Nikola Jokic

Arenas isn’t the only one who had some harsh criticism for Jokic. Three-time NBA champion Toni Kukoc said that Jokic isn’t as good as some of the other European players who came before him.

“Despite the statistics, Jokic isn’t at the level of [Vlade] Divac and Dino [Radja] in the center position,” Kukoc told Serbian news outlet Sporski Zurnal. “30 years ago, Divac surprised America with the way he handled the ball while being this tall. Radja when it comes to how he could catch the ball under the basket and reach the other side of the court to score.”

Kukoc also used another basketball legend to compare to Jokic.

“Anyone who remembers (Arvydas) Sabonis knows how he dominated as a center. It’s a shame that his Achilles tendons bothered him so much. Jokic has improved a lot and can improve his game a lot more.”

Kukoc won three titles with the Chicago Bulls from 1996 to 1998.

Nikola Jokic Remains Atop MVP Rankings’s Michael C. Wright ranked Jokic No. 1 in his March 29 rankings. Wright explained why he remains in first place based on the Nuggets’ and Jokic’s accomplishments.

“The two-time MVP continues to grind through left hip soreness and lower back pain. But Denver has won four of its last five going into Friday’s game vs. Minnesota. In the four games Jokic has played over that span, the 29-year-old averaged 29 points, 12.5 rebounds, 7.8 assists and 1.5 steals per game.”

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