Very few thought possible for this fresh-faced player from a small Serbian town to become a respected member of an NBA team, let alone a reference point and one of the biggest favorites of the entire franchise. The best thing about Nikola Jokic? He still has so much space to grow!
Synonymous with the triple-double, versatile and fast, he reached his current career high at 41 points and became a reference point at only 23.
In the past month, there were only 5 point guards in the entire NBA who scored more points than Nikola Jokic.
— NBA (@NBA) January 26, 2018
His basketball odyssey begins in 2011, at Vojvodina, where Jokić spent one season. After creating impressive stats in their youth team, he began attracting the attention of many teams and managers. One of them being Serbia’s most affluent basketball manager – Miško Ražnatović.
Ražnatović brings him to his club, Mega Leks, known as quite a talent factory. This is where young Nikola continues his development in the following three years. Playing the regional ABA league, he became MVP.
The next logical step was fulfilling every basketball player’s dream, going for the NBA. In 2014 he was picked by the Denver Nuggets. In total 41st in the second round.
After long negotiations between the Serbian and the American side, Nikola and his manager ended up convinced that the States would be the best place for him.
In his rookie season with the Nuggets, Jokic gets an open space due to injuries of his team mates. He takes full advantage. This is the point at which Denver seems to finally have gotten their key player. One that will be able to help fulfill even the biggest of goals. Denver, they hadn’t played in the Playoffs since 2013.
They currently hold the score of 37-30, with many questions laying ahead.
However, there are no questions about The Joker. His play continues to evolve, while the stats, including fan favorite triple-doubles become increasingly important for his team’s wins.
In order to grow individually, he renounced the National Team invitation last year, which was not accepted well by the public in his home country.
However, thanks to his good stats, impressive moves and all likeliness of playing at the Word Championship in 2019, Nikola is back in fans good graces.
Through numbers alone, you can see the growth of both Jokić and the Nuggets. Nikola Jokic ended the 2015-16 season with 10pts. That number rose to 17.6 in the following year, while the Joker held 17.2 pts last season.
In the meantime, Denver’s total finally got to four digits.
No matter how this season ends for the Nuggets, Jokić will be signing a new contract, creating a safe future for himself. A maximum contract has already been mentioned, followed by potential obstacles, due to Denver’s salary cap.
As they wait for the epilogue of Nikola’s future in Denver, fans both in Serbia and all across the globe, are left to root for Nikola and HIS Nuggets.
Shoutout to fellow author @Goran93S for his fast writing.