What we do know is that Jokic, Joel Embiid, and Stephen Curry are the three top vote-getters and finalists for the award. The NBA released the 2021 award finalists for six individual award categories on Thursday — these are the top three finishers for each award — with the winners to be announced over the coming weeks on TNT broadcasts before games.
Here are the award finalists (listed in alphabetical order):
Kia NBA Most Valuable Player
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
Nikola Jokić, Denver Nuggets
NBA Coach of the Year
Quin Snyder, Utah Jazz
Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks
Monty Williams, Phoenix Suns
Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year
Kia NBA Most Improved Player
Kia NBA Rookie of the Year
Kia NBA Sixth Man
Not everyone was impressed with these selections. For example, Bam Adebayo felt snubbed for Defensive Player of the Year.
— 13am Adebayo💥 (@Bam1of1) May 21, 2021
A selected panel of media members votes on these awards, and each voter’s complete ballot for each award will be posted at pr.nba.com after all of the awards have been announced. [For transparency, I am one of those voters.]
If you don’t want to wait that long for a discussion of how the voting broke down and why certain guys made the cut and others didn’t — including Bam Adebayo — Dan Feldman and I discussed our end-of-season award ballots on the latest PBT Podcast.