Jokic has 'zero interest' in MVP hype after Nuggets go 2-0 ahead
Two-time reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic has "zero interest" in the hype surrounding this year's award.
Jokic is a leading candidate for the 2022-23 MVP award, alongside Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.
The winner will be announced on Tuesday, a day after Jokic led the Denver Nuggets to a 97-87 victory over the Phoenix Suns in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals.
Jokic delivered a performance worthy of an MVP, scoring 39 points and adding 16 rebounds to help Denver take a 2-0 series lead.
But the 28-year-old Serbian is not paying much credence to the speculation over who will claim the prize.
"I don't really think about it. Like zero interest," said Jokic, who is hoping to spend Tuesday recovering.
"Hopefully, it's going to be a sunny day, so I can be in the swimming pool," he quipped.
Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell are the only other players to have been named an MVP for three seasons running.
"I mean, I cannot think about that, because I cannot control it," Jokic said.
Nuggets coach Michael Malone knows that Jokic is not motivated by individual success.
"I marvel at his greatness, I marvel at his consistency, his excellence, his ability to find so many different ways to beat you, whether it's scoring, rebounding, playmaking, not afraid of the moment," Malone said of Jokic.
"There's so many quality [MVP] candidates, and it'll be a really close race.
"But I know what motivates Nikola Jokic, what motivates myself and the rest of the guys in that locker room, is not the MVP.
"It's our journey to try and win the first championship in franchise history."
After two home wins for the Nuggets, Game 3 in Phoenix takes place on Friday.