Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic was named the 2021 NBA MVP on Tuesday (June 8) night, becoming the first Serbian and lowest-drafted player (No. 41 overall) to win the league's top individual award.
That wasn't much of a surprise as the dominant big man earned 91 of the 101 first-place votes in a landslide.
What was, however, more surprising was that New York Knicks point guard Derrick Rose was among the five other players to receive a first-place vote.
Associated Press NBA writer Tim Reynolds reports Rose's lone first-place vote came from a consensus fan vote, according to league sources.
"Derrick Rose got an MVP first-place vote. League source tells AP it was not from media; it was the consensus fan vote," Reynolds tweeted.
Rose was an integral part of the Knicks ending their seven-year playoff drought during the 2020-21 season, providing a spark after being acquired via trade with the Detroit Pistons in February.
But the former NBA MVP was limited to a backup role for New York during the regular season -- despite playing the most minutes at the point guard position late in games -- before finally taking over as the team's starter during the playoffs.
Still, Rose remains one of the league's most popular players among both fans and colleagues happy to see his career resurgence after injuries threatened to end his playing career.
Other players receiving first-place votes included Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (5), Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (2), Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (1) and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (1).
Additionally, Rose's teammate, Julius Randle, received 20 points for one third-place vote (5 points), two fourth-place votes (3 points) and nine fifth-place votes (1 point), making the Knicks one of two teams to have two players receive points, the other being the 76ers with Embiid and Ben Simmons.
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