Nuggets star Nikola Jokic set to be named NBA MVP for second straight season

The 7-foot center became the first player in league history to eclipse 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 500 assists in a season. And that kind of dominance from the player nicknamed “Joker” helped convince voters that he should be the 13th player for the club-exclusive NBA MVP.

The other finalists were 76ers center Joel Embidwho led the league in scoring average and two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of defending champion Bucks.

Jokic, 27, averaged 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds and 7.9 assists on a team that was lacking. Jamal Murray (ACL) and Michael Porter Jr. (back). Forced to carry the night’s charge inside and out, the big man from Serbia answered the call and guided the Nuggets to a 48-win season. They earned the No. 6 seed in the West before losing in five games to the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the playoffs.

The award is likely the start of a huge offseason for Jokic, who is eligible for a supermax extension that could guarantee him nearly $254 million over five seasons from 2023-24. He will earn $32.4 million next season.

Jokic joins a rarefied company by winning for a second season in a row. Other players to earn back-to-back wins include Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry, james lebron (twice), Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Moses Maloneand Kareem Abdul Jabbar (twice). Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlainand Bill Russell each has won the award in three consecutive seasons.

Monty Williams of the Suns is the best coach in the NBA

Monty Williams won the NBA Coach of the Year award after leading the Suns to a franchise-record 64 regular-season wins.

The Suns were by far the best team in the NBA during the regular season, finishing with eight more wins than any other team. Williams, 50, coached the Suns for three seasons and the team got better each time.

Monty Williams is in his third season with Phoenix.Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

Williams joins Cotton Fitzsimmons (1988-89) and Mike D’Antoni (2004-05) as award-winning coaches with the Suns.

The New York finalist Tom Thibodeau last season, Williams was the big winner this time. He received 81 of 100 first-place votes from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters, finishing with 458 points.

from Memphis Taylor Jenkins finished second with 17 first-place votes and 270 points. Miami Erik Spoelstra and the one in Boston Ime Udoka also received a vote for first place.

Phoenix won a franchise-record 18 straight games from Oct. 30-Dec. 2, including a 16-0 record in November. It was tied for the second most wins in a month without a loss in NBA history, behind Atlanta’s 17-0 record in January 2015.

Williams led the Suns to the NBA Finals last season, where they lost to the Bucks in six games. They are currently tied, 2-2, with the Mavericks in the Western Conference Semifinals.

It’s official, Mike Brown will coach the Kings

The Sacramento Kings have officially announced the hiring of mike brown as a new coach with hopes of ending the NBA’s longest playoff drought.

General director Mount McNair said on Monday that Brown had been chosen to replace the interim coach Alvin Gentry. The Kings fired Gentry after a season in which they set an NBA record by missing the playoffs for a 16th straight year.

Brown is currently an assistant at Golden State and will remain with the Warriors for the remainder of their playoff run. Brown previously had two stints as head coach at Cleveland, where he guided the Cavaliers to the 2007 NBA Finals, and had a stint as coach of the Lakers.

The Kings went 30-52 last season under Walton and Gentry and their .366 winning percentage was their worst since the 2017-18 season.

The Sacramento Kings have agreed to hire Mike Brown as their new head coach. Brown will take over the franchise with the longest playoff drought in NBA history.Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Since arriving in Sacramento in 1985, the Kings have had only one successful streak, making the playoffs in all eight seasons under coach Rick Adelman from 1999-2006. Adelman was fired in 2006 and remains the only Sacramento-era coach to post a single-season winning record.

Brown has a strong pedigree, having worked as an assistant under Gregg Popovitch in San Antonio and Steve Kerr with Golden State.

He got his first head coaching job at Cleveland in 2005. He helped james lebron and the Cavaliers advance to the final of his second season before being swept by the Spurs. He was dismissed in 2010 after winning 127 games in the previous two seasons but failed to return to the final.

After a year’s hiatus, Brown replaced Phil Jackson with the Lakers. The Lakers went 41-25 in his first season and he was fired after starting the following season 1-4.

Brown returned to Cleveland the following season and went 33-49 before being fired again after one season.

Adreian Payne, former first-rounder, shot

Adrian Payne, a former Michigan State basketball player and NBA player, died in a shooting in Orlando. He was 31 years old. The Orange County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded to a shooting at 1:34 a.m. Monday when Payne was identified and taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead. Laurent Dority, 29, was present at the scene, according to the sheriff’s office. He was arrested on a first degree murder warrant after homicide detectives questioned him. Payne played in 107 NBA games, averaging 4 points and three 2.9 rebounds over four seasons with Atlanta, Minnesota and Orlando. The Hawks drafted him No. 15 overall in 2014, traded him to the Timberwolves, and he averaged 6.7 points and 5.1 rebounds as a potentially promising rookie. The Magic waived the 6-foot-10 forward in January 2018, after he was part of an ESPN report detailing sexual assault allegations against former State basketball and football players. Michigan. Payne played professionally earlier this year in Lithuania. He also played in Turkey, France, Greece and China… Goalkeeper Seth’s Curry underwent arthroscopy of his left ankle and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall. Curry came to the Nets with Ben Simmons and André Drummond in February in the trade that sent James Harden in Philadelphia. He had ankle issues in the stretch but played in 19 games and averaged 14.9 points while shooting 46.8 percent from 3-point range.

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