On Tuesday, the NBA announced that Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic won the 2020-21 NBA Most Valuable Player Award. This was not a surprise because he averaged 26.4 points, 10.9 rebounds and 8.4 assists per game for Denver while never missing a contest. He also led Denver to a 47-25 regular season record and a second round playoff appearance against the Phoenix Suns which is currently underway.
A Washington Wizards player also got a vote in the MVP race, though it’s not who many if not most Wizards fans thought it would (or should) be.
Russell Westbrook earned one third-place vote, putting him 11th in the standings.
Westbrook averaged 22.2 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 11.7 assists per game in 65 appearance, making the 2020-21 NBA season the fourth time he has averaged a triple-double for an entire season. Westbrook also earned the Eastern Conference Player of the Month award for May.
Washington was 25-47 in the 2019-20 NBA season, including a 1-7 run in the Orlando summer bubble due to the coronavirus pandemic. This season, the team made a noticeable improvement, finishing with a 34-48 regular season record and a first round playoff appearance. Westbrook’s addition certainly helped the Wizards take their game up a notch.
That said, with Westbrook earning a third place MVP vote from someone, it’s also notable and disappointing that Bradley Beal didn’t earn any votes himself. He was the NBA’s second-leading this scorer this season and was the leading scorer for most of it. Regardless, I’m happy to see that one voter gave the Wizards some love.