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Nikola Jokic's Former Coach Reveals Interesting Fact About His Early Development: "He Literally Couldn't Do A Push-Up. I Was Afraid That Older Guys Will Hurt Him."

Nikola Jokic's Former Coach Reveals Interesting Fact About His Early Development: "He Literally Couldn't Do A Pushup. I Was Afraid That Older Guys Will Hurt Him."

Nikola Jokic, despite still being very young in his career, has made a case for himself to be considered the greatest Serbian NBA player of all time. 

While there have been other greats in the past like Peja Stojakovic and Vlade Divac, Jokic has been able to surpass them in terms of individual accomplishments in the league, becoming the first-ever Serbian MVP in NBA history. But Jokic had to work very hard to get to where he is today.

Dejan Milojevic, a current assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors, was actually Jokic's former coach in Serbia. In an interview with Altitude Sports, Milojevic revealed that he heard of Jokic through his team owner, who found him putting up big numbers in a youth league. 

Milojevic was concerned about Jokic, as he wasn't physically gifted when he first got him, and couldn't even do a push-up, so he gave him time to work with the trainer until he was deemed ready to play (till 1:21).

“Actually our owner of the club where I was working, he literally found out about him in a paper. He was looking at a report from some junior league. And he saw the guy scoring like 30 points or something… When we figured out that he was literally practicing 3-4 times a week, that he was some chubby fat kid. When I got him, I saw the talent but I told my owner, we should give him a one month break, just to make him capable of playing a professional level. He couldn’t do push-ups, I was afraid that older guys were going to hurt him. One month, he was just working with a trainer, then he became capable.”

Jokic, despite his excellence in Serbia, was not considered a top prospect when he came to the NBA. But he was able to adapt and established himself as one of the best players in the league within a few years. 

Jokic was the 41st overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft and is one of only two NBA players to win the MVP award despite being picked in the second round of the NBA Draft, the other being Willis Reed. Jokic's legacy is incredible, and will only continue to grow, as he is still very young right now, and has a lot of basketball left to play.