Nikola Jokic is not the platonic idea of an athlete. The Denver Nuggets big man moves like he’s wearing sandals and has the body of a veteran Major League pitcher who realized long ago that it’s the production that counts, not the presentation.
But he refuses to quit. He’s a competitor. After playing 65 of 68 minutes in a quadruple-overtime loss to Portland on Friday, his team needed him on the court and stuffing the stat sheet in Sunday night’s Game 4.
Jokic did just that, notching his second consecutive triple-double as the Nuggets evened up the series at 2-2. A loss would have been devastating, both for the bottom line and emotionally. Now Denver has home-court advantage and could possibly be looking at another winner-take-all Game 7.
Per ESPN, Jokic and Jamal Murray teamed up to do something that hasn’t been done in nearly 40 years.
The duo became only the second pair of teammates to record a triple-double and a 30-point game in back-to-back playoff games since the Lakers’ Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did so in 1980 against the Suns, according to Elias Sports Bureau research.
Shortly after evening things up, Jokic took his place at the microphone. Then he promptly broke it.
This guy is electric. Posting triple-doubles, cracking jokes, highlighting swift-fingered scribes, and doing non-verbal comedy, all with ease.
What’s his secret? Apparently living every day like it’s the Summer of George.
There’s a lesson here. Only exert the minimum amount of effort needed when it’s absolutely necessary. Then really go after it.
Finally an aspirational figure the common man can rally behind.