Nikola Jokic’s 2020-21 campaign was pretty historic for the NBA and the Denver Nuggets. Unfortunately, the 2020-21 NBA MVP found himself on the wrong end of history with Stephen Curry following his ejection in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Phoenix Suns.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, Jokic is only the second MVP in the last 25 playoffs to be ejected in a postseason game. As mentioned, the last MVP to be on the receiving end of that was Curry in the 2016 NBA Finals when the Golden State Warriors star was tossed out for throwing his mouthpiece into the stands and hitting a fan.
Furthermore, the Nuggets All-Star is only the fifth MVP to be swept in a playoff series. It was so rare that the last one to suffer such fate was Magic Johnson way back in 1989 against the Detroit Pistons.
Nikola Jokic is the 5th MVP to be swept in a playoff series, and 1st since Magic Johnson in the 1989 Finals vs the Pistons.
Jokic is also the 2nd MVP to be ejected in the last 25 postseasons (Steph Curry in 2016). h/t @EliasSports pic.twitter.com/rQVOHhvCI4
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 14, 2021
This is certainly a huge lesson learned for Nikola Jokic. No matter how frustrated he may be, he should never allow his emotions get the best of him and make the whole team suffer. The Nuggets needed him the most in the do-or-die Game 4, but he lost his composure as the Suns completed the sweep.
Jokic can only improve and mature from the incident, for sure. At just 26 years old, he is set to dominate the league in the years to come.
The Nuggets enter the offseason with a lot of optimism. After all, besides from a still-improving MVP player, they have a young core that should only get better following another playoff experience.