PHOENIX SUNS

Nikola Jokic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Luka Doncic finalists for NBA MVP

Apr 21, 2024, 7:46 PM

Nikola Jokic named as a finalist for 2023-24 NBA MVP....

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic warms up prior to Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round play off game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Saturday, April 20, 2024, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Nikola Jokic is one step closer to winning a third MVP award in the last four seasons.

The NBA revealed the finalists for most of the league’s postseason awards Sunday, and to no surprise, Jokic, the Denver Nuggets’ star, was one of the three top vote-getters for the top individual honor, the Michael Jordan trophy that gets presented to the league’s Most Valuable Player.

The others: Dallas’ Luka Doncic and Oklahoma City’s Gilgeous-Alexander. Last season’s MVP, Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers, was not eligible this year because of the new league rule saying players must appear in a certain number of games for award participation.

If he wins, Jokic would become the ninth player with three or more MVP’s, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six), Jordan and Bill Russell (five), Wilt Chamberlain and LeBron James (four), and Moses Malone, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson (three).

Doncic and Gilgeous-Alexander would be first-time MVPs. Gilgeous-Alexander was a finalist for Most Improved Player last year — and this year, he’s in line for the MVP prize.

This much is already assured: It’ll be the sixth consecutive year that an international player wins MVP, extending the longest such streak in NBA history.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, he of Greek and Nigerian heritage, won in 2019 and 2020, Serbia’s Jokic won in 2021 and 2022 and Embiid won last season.

Embiid was born in Cameroon, though became an American citizen in 2022 and has been selected for the team that will represent USA Basketball at the Paris Olympics this summer.

The awards are voted on by a panel of reporters and broadcasters who cover the league, and are based on regular season games only. Ballots were due last week before the start of the play-in tournament, and the league is expected to begin announcing winners periodically over the coming days.

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Nikola Jokic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Luka Doncic finalists for NBA MVP