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Presenting Jokic with new Michael Jordan MVP award was “pretty cool” - Malone

Nikola Jokic was in sensational form for the Denver Nuggets and received a new prize after the game.

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 10: Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets looks on during an NBA game at Pepsi Center on December 10, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.   Dustin Bradford/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Dustin Bradford / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Michael Malone reflected on the “pretty cool” moment he was able to present Nikola Jokic with the first Michael Jordan MVP award on a night he shone again for the Denver Nuggets. It was announced on Tuesday the prestigious prize, won two seasons running by Jokic, would be renamed in honour of the Chicago Bulls legend – seen by many as the greatest player of all time.

Jokic received the trophy following the Nuggets’ high-scoring 141-128 victory over the Washington Wizards, a game where the Serbian had a season’s best 43 points alongside 14 rebounds and eight assists. He finished 17-of-20 from the field, missing only once inside the three-point line in a matchup lacking in defense.

Head coach Malone said of handing the MVP prize to Jokic: “Just had a really cool moment giving Nikola Jokic his MVP trophy in the locker room and the first ever Michael Jordan MVP award. It was pretty neat to give him that and the players to give him as much love as they gave him. We got the win, we have to be better taking care of it, our three-point defense, it’s going to bite us in the butt soon. So, if we can win a game with our offense it’s better than losing a game with our defense.”

Two points off record

The Nuggets put up 98 of their points inside the paint, the second most recorded in NBA history. The record

I had no idea we were close to breaking the record, DeAndre Jordan pointed out with around 3:30 to go in the game and I was shocked you don’t see that number very often,” Malone added. “I wanted us to get 100, but I wasn’t going to take a shot that last possession, that’s not how you play the game especially when you have a friend on the other end. Incredible number, obviously no defensive player of the game tonight because there was no defense in the game!”


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