NBA MVP Nikola Jokic was such a little-known prospect that ESPN played a Taco Bell commercial while he was drafted

Nikola jokic 2015
Nikola Jokic as a rookie in 2015. David Zalubowski/AP Images
  • Nikola Jokic became the lowest-drafted player to ever win NBA MVP on Tuesday.
  • When Jokic was taken 41st overall in 2014, ESPN played a Taco Bell ad over the selection.
  • Jokic came to the NBA in 2015 and quickly established himself as the Nuggets’ franchise player.
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When the Denver Nuggets drafted Nikola Jokic in second round of the 2014 draft, few could have predicted he would one day be the NBA’s MVP.

The 26-year-old Serbian center took home the award on Tuesday after an incredible season in which he averaged 26 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 assists per game while leading the Nuggets to the third seed in the West.

Having been drafted 41st in 2014, Jokic on Tuesday became the lowest-picked player to ever win NBA MVP.

It’s been a stunning rise for Jokic, who was such a little-known prospect back in 2014 that when he was drafted, ESPN didn’t even mention the pick – a Taco Bell ad played over it.

-The Association (@association) June 8, 2021

Many second-round picks get this treatment – it stands in stark contrast to the played-out announcing of the top picks in the draft, which often take several minutes and include highlight packages, interviews, and analysis from draft experts.

Jokic did not immediately come to the NBA upon getting drafted. He remained overseas for one more year, and was going to stay longer to play professionally in Spain, until FC Barcelona reportedly backed out of signing him.

Jokic then came to the NBA in 2015 and quickly established himself as one of the NBA’s most unique players.

NBA teams are lucky if a second-round pick becomes a consistent role player. Few could ever dream that a foreign prospect taken with the 41st overall pick would one day become a franchise centerpiece and one of the best players in the NBA.