Jokic becomes first MVP to get playoff ejection since Steph

Nikola Jokic ejected

Nikola Jokic and Steph Curry spent the last few months of the 2020-21 NBA season battling for the MVP award, which the Denver Nuggets' center eventually won handily.

Now the two NBA superstars share something else in common.

They are the last two reigning NBA MVPs to be ejected from an NBA playoff game.

Jokic supplanted Curry as the latest reigning MVP to be ejected when he was assessed a Flagrant Foul Penalty 2 in the third quarter of Game 4 of the Western Conference second-round series against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday in Denver.

A frustrated Jokic wound up and swiped down at Suns guard Cameron Payne, appearing to make contact with Payne's nose.

With Jokic ejected, the Nuggets were unable to rally, losing to the Suns, 125-118, and saw their season come to an end in a sweep.

Curry's ejection came in Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals after he was assessed a sixth personal foul and angrily threw his mouthpiece in frustration at the referee and hit a fan, who turned out to be the son of one of the minority owners of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

That act resulted in a technical foul for Curry.

The Warriors would go on to lose that game and Game 7 a few nights later, capping a stunning collapse to a 73-win regular season.


Though Curry's ejection was warranted, Jokic's ejection was controversial, puzzling two young NBA stars in Ja Morant and Trae Young.

While Curry would like to recapture the MVP award from Jokic next season, it's a safe bet that he's fine with the reigning MVP keeping the NBA playoff ejection honor for a while.