Nikola Jokic crossed a statistical threshold that even Wilt Chamberlain failed to reach.
With a fourth-quarter field goal against a team double in Friday’s win over Memphis, Nikola Jokic became the first player in NBA history to rack up at least 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 500 assists in one. single season.
The crowd acknowledged the feat with a standing ovation as they sang “MVP” for the reigning Kia Most Valuable Player, who accomplished the statistical feat despite a blow to the head earlier in the game that caused some to sink. blood and saw him put on a blindfold.
👏 Nikola Jokic receives a standing ovation in Denver after becoming the first player in NBA history with 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 500 assists in a season. pic.twitter.com/ef8YrkkMDL
—NBA (@NBA) April 8, 2022
Chamberlain missed eight points of that specific combination in the 1967-68 season, the year he led the league in assists. He won the league’s Most Valuable Player award that season, an honor Jokic is battling to earn for the second year in a row despite impressive campaigns from Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid.
“I mean, it’s cool,” Jokic said afterwards. “I like it. I hope I can do it many times.”
Jokic’s late-season surge also saw him become the first player since Chamberlain to record at least 35 points and 12 rebounds in five consecutive games since Chamberlain.
Despite long-term injuries to supporting teammates Jamal Murray (ACL) and Michael Porter Jr. (back), Jokic propelled Jokic to a guaranteed playoff spot for a fourth consecutive season. The Nuggets have won at least one playoff in each of the previous three years.
“MVP isn’t even a competition,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said after the game. “There are other great players. I’m not saying they aren’t great players. But what Nikola Jokic has done this year – with this team – everything we’ve had to go through, is just amazing. He was good last year and he is even better this year.