NBA superstars.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Getty Images, iStock)

The three NBA MVP finalists — Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks; Nikola Jokić of the Denver Nuggets; and Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers — have also clearly been the three best players all season. That's perhaps to be expected. What is more of a surprise is that the three best players in the NBA, as determined by the voters, include not a single American.

There have been non-American MVPs before besides Serbia's Jokić and Greece's Antetokounmpo, both previous winners — Nigerian-American Hakeem Olajuwon in 1994; German Dirk Nowitzki in 2007; and in 2006, Steve Nash (a Canadian!) — but never a top three without one. (Embiid hails from Cameroon.) The NBA has been headed in this more international direction for a while, but 2022's MVP race is a sign of just how far things have moved. The news recaps of the finalists that I read this weekend, including on ESPN.com, didn't even make note of the fact.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us