Nikola Jokic talks about Denver’s potential 2 MVPs with Nathan MacKinnon named Hart finalist

Tony Nguyen | Denver Nuggets
May 10, 2024

The city of Denver is one of the few cities with two pro sports teams in their respective playoffs right now. The Denver Nuggets are currently in the NBA’s Western Conference Semi-Finals. The Colorado Avalanche are also in the second round of the NHL playoffs. Both the Nuggets and Avalanche have been consistently good teams for many seasons now. Superstar players have emerged for both teams, like Nikola Jokic for the Nuggets and Nathan MacKinnon for the Avalanche.

Prior to the start of the playoffs, both Jokic and MacKinnon put on insane performances in the regular season. These performances had them named as finalists for the MVP awards in their leagues. On Wednesday, Jokic was announced as the 2024 NBA MVP. This marked the third time in four years Jokic has won the award.

Jokic was surrounded by his family at Ball Arena when he was announced as the league MVP. Jokic has never been one to show much emotion, but he still expressed his gratitude for being named the MVP. After winning the award, Jokic was asked about the possibility that the city of Denver could have two MVPs in the same year if MacKinnon wins the Hart Memorial Trophy.

If this happens, it would mark just the second time a city has shared an NBA and NHL MVP. The other time it came to fruition was in 1989 when the Los Angeles Lakers’ Magic Johnson and Los Angeles Kings’ Wayne Gretzky each took home the hardware.

“I love the sport [hockey] first of all. I love being a fan,” Jokic said. “Like when I’m going to the games, I’m a fan of the Avalanche. They’re trusting their players, and they’re trusting Nathan [MacKinnon.] He’s playing good, and he’s really fast on those skates.”

Nikola Jokic and Nathan MacKinnon: A Golden Era in Denver sports

NBA commissioner Adam Silver presents Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP Award after winning the 2023 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat at Ball Arena.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Denver fans are truly reveling in the moment right now. For multiple seasons now, they’ve got to watch Nikola Jokic and Nathan MacKinnon dominate their respective leagues. And the pair are not only putting up great stat lines but bringing championships to the city of Denver as well.

The Nuggets won their first-ever NBA championship in 2023, and the Avalanche won their third franchise Stanley Cup in 2022. At the level these two guys are playing at, there is a very high chance the city of Denver sees more championship wins in the near future.

Every superstar has their off days, however. In early January, Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar compared both Jokic and MacKinnon and acknowledged that both have their bad games. He emphasized that despite having bad games, it shouldn’t take away from their greatness as players.

“Listening to the sports radio, [they say] ‘Joker didn’t have a great game last night.’ Well he’s been the best player for three, four-plus years and he’s doing it every night in a different way,” Bednar said. “If he doesn’t have his legs, he passes it off and gets 15 assists or whatever it is. It doesn’t make it any less special. It’s the same for Nate. He has a bad game and everybody’s like ‘Oh Nate didn’t do it tonight.’ Well, he just did it 40 games in a row. I mean what do you want him to do? Guys are going to run out of legs every once in a while or they’re not going to have their best stuff or they might not be feeling well. It could be anything. It’s a marathon of a season, so you’ve got to look at the whole body of work.”