Nikola Jokic has been one of the fastest-rising players over the last few years. In the last 3 seasons, Jokic has ascended to being an All-Star and the central figure for the Denver Nuggets franchise. And this season, he took a giant leap in terms of quality of play, being named league MVP.
Jokic was never expected to be a superstar in the league. He entered the NBA in 2014, as the 41st overall pick in the draft, missing out on the 1st round entirely. In fact, Jokic himself has admitted that he was sleeping when his name was called in the draft. But since then, he has established himself as one of the best players in the league.
Being from Serbia, Jokic is not the talkative kind. He isn't a very loud communicator on the court. But his passing vision and ability to make plays for others allows him to be such a versatile and useful figure for the Nuggets.
But Jokic does have a funny side to him, as fans got to witness during the Nuggets' preseason game. Jokic was mic'd up and was quick with the jokes and humor, often telling teammates to not sit near him because they were sweaty, or quipping at his teammates with hilarious one-liners.
Jokic has shown that he can perform well in the big moments. Last year, he helped the Nuggets reach the Western Conference Finals, defeating the Utah Jazz and the LA Clippers. The Nuggets became the first team in NBA history to overturn a 3-1 deficit in multiple playoff series.
Going into the new season, Jokic is expected to be a key figure and is considered one of the best big men in the NBA.
The Nuggets will be hoping to have Jokic resurrect his partnership with Jamal Murray, as the latter returns from injury this year. If the duo can recreate their magic from the 2020 playoff run, the Nuggets will be a force in the West.