In recent years, I’ve noted that a lot of the best athletes have surnames that end with an “-ich” sound, which usually denotes Balkan ancestry. Now, Nikola Jokić from Serbia, a 6-11, 284 pound center for the Denver Nuggets, has been voted the National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player by a wide margin.
Jokić is an exceptional passer for a center. He brings to basketball some skills from other sports that are big in the Balkans like water polo and volleyball:
Slovenian Luka Dončić, who is only 22, finished sixth in the voting, after a fourth place total last year.