The Denver Nuggets are conspicuously absent from the NBA’s Christmas Day schedule this year, and the irony is not lost on guard Austin Rivers.
The league officially released the schedule for the 2021-22 season on Friday. Rivers commented on the Instagram post of the announcement, calling out the NBA for doing Nuggets teammate Nikola Jokic dirty.
“The mvp doesn’t get a Christmas game,” Rivers wrote. “Yup that makes a lot of sense.”
Jokic, who won the honors for 2020-21, becomes the first reigning MVP since 2008 to be excluded from the Christmas Day slate, per StatMuse. What is interesting is that the Nuggets actually played on Christmas last season, falling to the LA Clippers in the final game of the day.
Ten teams are featured on the 2021 Christmas Day schedule. The Nuggets not being one of them is the latest in the disrespect they feel they are getting.
Nikola Jokic was ejected in the third quarter of Game 4 between his Denver Nuggets and the Phoenix Suns on Sunday. Right after committing the foul that led to his ejection, Jokic was swarmed by Suns guard Devin Booker.
The way that Booker ran up to Jokic and got in his face led to all sorts of jokes about retribution heading the guard’s way. Several of the jokes specifically referenced Jokic’s two large, older brothers, who go everywhere with the reigning MVP. They looked like they wanted a piece of Booker as the drama was unfolding:
Maybe there is an intimidation factor when it comes to Jokic and his crew. Or maybe Booker doesn’t even care. His Suns won the game 125-118 and got the series sweep. Denver has a lot of work to do.
Devin Booker did not hesitate to stand up for his teammate after an incident during Game 4 of his Phoenix Suns’ playoff series with the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night.
Nikola Jokic handed Cameron Payne a hard foul in the third quarter and ended up ejected with a flagrant 2 foul. Immediately after the foul, Booker got right in Jokic’s face.
Jokic has a good five inches and 80 pounds on Booker. None of that mattered to the Suns guard in that moment.
Booker received a technical foul but remained in the game. He likely earned respect from his teammates for not hesitating to stand up for them.
Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic was ejected from Sunday’s Game 4 of the Western Conference quarterfinals for a hard foul on Suns guard Cameron Payne.
With just under four minutes left in the third quarter, Jokic went for a steal on Payne. Jokic wound up and his arm struck Payne in the face on the follow-through, sending the Phoenix guard to the floor. The foul also sparked a heated confrontation between Jokic and Suns guard Devin Booker, who intervened on Payne’s behalf.
Here’s another look showing Jokic’s arm striking Payne’s face.
Jokic was assessed a flagrant 2, as officials ruled that there was a windup and a follow-through with violent contact to Payne’s face. That meant Jokic was automatically ejected from the game. Booker was assessed a technical foul for his role in the ensuing confrontation.
Jokic looked genuinely shocked at the call and his ejection.
The Nuggets are facing elimination down 3-0, and the Suns had spent the third quarter slowly extending their lead over Denver. Jokic was almost certainly frustrated, and the moment seemed to get away from him. Still, the flagrant 2 call was a bit of a surprise, but clearly the officials felt that the contact qualified as excessive in addition to simply unnecessary.
In the past, Nuggets coach Michael Malone has said that there are times Jokic can let his frustrations have a detrimental impact on his play. This counts as a perfect example of that.
When it comes to winning awards, Nikola Jokic appears to be a man of few words.
The Denver Nuggets center was presented with his MVP trophy prior to Game 3 against the Phoenix Suns. As is typical, Jokic was invited to give a brief speech to the home crowd upon receiving the trophy.
Jokic emphasized the word brief. He thanked Denver fans for their support, said his teammates truly deserved the award, and that was that. He let his fellow players admire the trophy, then handed it off to his two brothers so he could get on with the game.
Hey, it’s not like he had to say much. Plus, this isn’t really a great environment for Jokic to be chatty. After all, he was just moments away from a pivotal Game 3 that his team simply had to win to stay in the series.
MVP speeches tend to be rather emotional, at least in more formal settings. Jokic, however, is all business.
A few great old photos of Nikola Jokic went viral on Tuesday after the Denver Nuggets center won NBA MVP.
Jokic was announced as the winner of this season’s NBA MVP award, beating out Joel Embiid and Steph Curry for the honor (and Derrick Rose!).
The 26-year-old was a second-round pick by the Nuggets in 2014 and has become the franchise’s first league MVP. His journey was captured well by these old photos. One of the pictures is of Jokic’s old passport.
Can you believe that young mushball ended up winning NBA MVP? Few people probably can. But that’s why you should never doubt someone; you never know what they can become.
Nikola Jokic is the 2020-2021 NBA MVP, and that will translate to some big bucks for the big man.
Jokic, 26, averaged a career-high 26.4 points to go along with 10.8 rebounds, 8.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 0.7 blocks per game this season. He led his Nuggets to the No. 3 spot in the West.
NBA MVP is one of the awards from the CBA that makes a player eligible for the largest max contract possible — the supermax. In order to sign the contract, Jokic would need to have played seven seasons in the league. He has played six so far.
If Jokic signs the supermax contract after next season, the deal is projected to be the largest in NBA history, according to Bobby Marks. Marks says the contract would be for five years at $241 million.
That is some major money.
Jokic is the first second-round pick to win NBA MVP in the common draft era. His path to this point has been improbable, but he is proving to be a great pick, and a franchise player. And he’ll be an extremely rich player soon.
Steve Nash has entered the NBA MVP debate and voiced his opinion.
The Brooklyn Nets head coach was speaking with the media ahead of his team’s game against the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night. Nash shared that he feels Nuggets star Nikola Jokic deserves MVP.
Why did Nash feel compelled to offer his opinion on NBA MVP? Perhaps he has seen the recent commotion.
NBA analyst/commentator Nick Wright recently declared that Jokic would be the worst MVP in 35 years. His reasoning was pretty terrible, unsurprisingly.
Jokic is averaging 26.4 points, 10.9 rebounds and 8.5 assists per game this season. The Nuggets entered Saturday with the fifth-best winning percentage in the league. Denver has also continued to be successful even with Jamal Murray out, which has strengthened Jokic’s case for the award.
Rudy Gobert is a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, but he looked like anything but one during Sunday’s game against the Denver Nuggets.
Gobert and the Utah Jazz fell to to Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets by the final of 128-117. Jokic absolutely lit up Gobert, his matchup at the center position, for 47 points, including 22 in just the first quarter alone. Jokic also added 12 rebounds, five assists, two steals, and a block. Meanwhile, Gobert finished with only 12 points and eight rebounds.
Gobert promptly heard it from the fans on Twitter, who hit him with the meme treatment for his inability to hang with Jokic.
There is generally no shame in being humbled by Jokic, who is widely seen as the game’s best center, especially offensively. But Gobert is seen as the game’s best defensive center, so the fans were probably expecting a much more competitive matchup.
The Jazz had won 11 straight games before Sunday and are still the second-best team in the West at 15-5. That probably means that Gobert is not too torn up about his poor showing against Jokic. However, one of Gobert’s biggest haters will definitely have a field day with this one.
After an 0-2 start to the season, Nikola Jokic would like to see some changes to the Denver Nuggets’ offense.
Speaking on Friday after a loss to the LA Clippers, the Nuggets star called for the team to do a better job of featuring teammate Michael Porter Jr.
“It’s hard because we’re all trying to figure it out,” said Jokic, per Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports. “Now Mike is playing more with us … It’s just one guy but still, he’s a really talented guy. We need to use him more and we need to kind of figure it out how we’re going to use [him].”
The 22-year-old Porter is now starting for Denver after Jerami Grant signed with the Detroit Pistons in the offseason. A gifted scorer and rebounder, he put up 25 points in the season opener against Sacramento. Porter was held to just ten points on nine shot attempts against the Clippers however.
The ex-lottery pick Porter is talented enough that he is being talked about as a possible centerpiece in a blockbuster trade. Now that Porter has a clear path to minutes too, Jokic sees no reason why he shouldn’t get more usage.