The 2022 NBA League MVP has officially been crowned, and it was a second-consecutive win for Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic. Jokic is the only MVP since Shaquille O'Neal to win the trophy as a center and is the first center to repeat as MVP in this millennium.
However, Jokic's win hasn't been extremely popular. Many people wanted Joel Embiid to be crowned the winner, but Jokic won the media vote convincingly in what was one of the closest MVP races in recent memory.
Former MVP Shaquille O'Neal gave his flowers to Jokic and praised the second-round pick for his game and called him a deserving winner. However, he objected to the unclear criteria of the award and said he would have given Embiid a slight edge over Jokic.
"It was very close. But me personally, I would like to see and understand the criteria of who the MVP really is. We all have our different opinions. I thought it was the baddest MOFO in the league, but some people are 'team this, team that'. The more popular and likable guy will have votes swing his way. very close, I'm not mad at the Joker, I love his story... Second rounder, I can respect that. I love how he plays. He plays like a true big man, a European big man, and today's big man all in one. Love his game, but I thought Embiid had the slight edge. I would like to understand the criteria."
Jokic was a statistical monster this season, averaging 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 7.9 assists on a Nuggets team that was wracked with injuries to star players like Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray. Embiid held the 76ers through the Ben Simmons absence averaging 30.6 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 4.2 assists.
Jokic enamored many through his impact on the game being felt through everything the Nuggets did. Embiid just isn't as versatile a playmaker and an offensive player as Jokic, but is one of the best defenders in the league. The award could have gone either way, but it seems the majority of media came to a sound consensus to award Jokic the honor.