The NBA MVP vote totals looked about as expected.
First-place votes for Nikola Jokic, Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo and . . . wait, Derrick Rose?
NBA MVP first-place votes this season (what stands out here?):
🏀Nikola Jokic 91
🏀Stephen Curry 5
🏀Chris Paul 2
🏀Joel Embiid 1
🏀Giannis Antetokounmpo 1
🏀Derrick Rose 1
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 8, 2021
Yes, Rose has won the MVP award before. In fact, he was the youngest player to win it when he claimed the award at age 22 after the 2010-11 regular season. But since the end of the 2017 season, he has started only 38 total games, serving as a backup point guard for the Cavaliers, Timberwolves, Pistons and Knicks.
So, how did he get a vote for MVP?
NBA AWARDS: List of winners for MVP, ROY and more
According to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press, Rose’s lone first-place vote did not come from anyone in the media. Of the 100 media votes, Jokic received 91, Curry received five, Paul had two and Embiid and Antetokounmpo each picked up one.
Instead, Rose’s vote came from the consensus fan vote, which has been a part of the MVP voting process since 2010.
Jokic wins, Embiid 2nd, Curry 3rd.
Derrick Rose got an MVP first-place vote. League source tells AP it was not from media; it was the consensus fan vote.
And LeBron James’ streak continues: 18 years with at least one MVP vote.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) June 8, 2021
Rose’s 2020-21 season began with the Pistons, but he was traded to the Knicks in February. With New York, he started three regular-season games and three of the team’s five playoff games. He averaged 14.9 points in the regular season, but he increased his production in the postseason, averaging 19.4 points, 5.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game.
Rose certainly put together a solid stretch in his 11th season. But a first-place vote for MVP? That might be a little much.