DENVER - A visibly humbled and gracious Nikola Jokic accepted his NBA Most Valuable Player award in front of a near-capacity crowd Friday night at Ball Arena.
After embracing his brothers and teammates, Jokic was introduced by team president Josh Kroenke. Before Jokic could get a word out, the Nuggets faithful showered Jokic with appreciation during the pregame ceremony and chanted “M-V-P” as he took the microphone for a brief acceptance speech.
“I just want to thank you guys for all the support – not just this year,” Jokic said, thanking the fans before shifting the attention to his teammates.
“This trophy is not mine, it’s all these guys over here.”
The short speech from Jokic and a loud ovation from the fans throughout the presentation seemed equally predictable.
“Even without that award presentation pregame, I think tonight with upping the capacity of our fans, (a) Friday night in Denver, the Mile High City, it was going to make for a great atmosphere,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said pregame. “The fans are going to be out in full force. And then you throw that extra opportunity to celebrate Nikola’s MVP, the first in franchise history, I think it’s going to be a great moment.”
Jokic and the Nuggets fans, who received posters celebrating the Nuggets’ first NBA MVP at the door and T-shirts at their seats, both seemed to appreciate the moment before Game 3 tipped off.