Nikola Jokic, the 7-foot Denver Nuggets big man and two time NBA MVP, has quite the story.
Born in Serbia in 1995, the now-five time NBA All-Star shared a cramped two bedroom apartment with his parents, grandmother, and two brothers. His siblings, which are a decade older and just as tall as Nikola, take a lot of the credit for toughening up a young “Joker.”
Both of his older brothers played basketball (one even in college in the United States) and helped Nikola hone in his basketball skills and, more importantly, grow out of his “husky” stage as a kid.
I mean, just look at this picture of him when he was a kid. This man is now dominating the NBA, the world’s premiere league the sport that bring the planet’s best basketball players all together in one place.
He’ll never be able to live down that infamous picture of him as a young kid, and I’ve got to think that he looks pretty good in modern day, despite apparently drinking 3 liters of Coca-cola a day as recently as 2o14, when he entered the NBA.
And when the time came to enter the league during the 2014 NBA Draft, it wasn’t as glamorous as getting drafted is usually cracked up to be. This stunning footage (which is real) is pulled straight from ESPN’s coverage of the 2014 draft, and is officially the “welcome to the league” moment for the Serbian superstar.
Long story short, ESPN didn’t even bother to pull away from a Taco Bell “Quesarito” advertisement when it was announced that the Denver Nuggets had drafted Nikola Jokic with the 41st pick in the second round of the 2014 NBA Draft.
The video is posted below, which reads:
“There will never be a greater underdog story than 2x MVP Nikola Jokic being drafted during a Taco Bell “Quesarito” ad.”
Two things to really unpack here:
First, talk about the disrespect to Jokic on this one, especially after how special he has become as arguably the best Denver Nuggets player in the franchise’s history (saying that could be controversial, but no one would argue if they win this year’s title).
Foreign players have always been overlooked and have been received poorly by fans when it comes to the draft, but more and more players from all over the world have been entering the league and killing it in the past decade.
And second, I miss the Quesarito so, so, so much. Taco Bell removed the item from their menu back in March of this year, much to the dismay of fans of the Mexican fast food restaurant. Maybe this extra exposure of the Quesarito from Jokic’s success will fire up the movement to bring back the fan favorite Taco Bell item.
Nikola Jokic, who is quite possibly the most elegant, clumsy, in-control, out-of-control player the NBA has ever seen and was even drafted during a commercial break, is leading the Nuggets to the NBA Finals. The franchise just won their first ever western conference title after sweeping the Lakers, and now head to the league’s championship for the first time in history.
The team from Denver now awaits either the Boston Celtics (long shot) or the Miami Heat (most likely) from the eastern conference. The Heat are currently up 3-0, and if they win tonight, it would be the first time both the western and eastern conference finals ended with 4-game sweeps.
The NBA Finals begin on June 1st, and Jokic, the Denver Nuggets superstar who (no offense) looks like he could destroy five to ten Quesaritos in one sitting, will be there to hopefully “triple-double” his way to an NBA Finals victory.
Denver Nuggets Star Nikola Jokić Pushes Phoenix Suns Owner
The NBA has been accused of having a flopping issue, but this might be the first time that someone sitting courtside could have been called by a ref for flopping.
What makes it even more interesting is the person who seems to have perfected the flop is Mat Ishbia, owner of the Phoenix Suns.
NBA playoffs are in full swing, with only eight teams left to fight for the coveted Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. Two of those teams are the Denver Nuggets and the Phoenix Suns, and last night’s game in Phoenix has led to quite the interesting predicament.
Denver Nuggets star (who looks like a relatively normal person besides the fact that he is 7 foot tall) Nikola Jokić was going after a ball that had been hit out of bounds when a fan wouldn’t throw the ball back to him.
Jokić was also getting surrounded by those in the section, and when someone touched his arm, the basketball player pushed back.
Now, he didn’t push back hard, but the owner of the Suns who was standing nearby decided to go for the Oscar-winning performance and fell back like he had just been hit by a cannon ball.
If the seat wouldn’t have been there to catch him, there’s a good chance he would still be falling backwards at this very moment.
Watch the footage and see what you think:
Should Jokić have pushed the fan? No, probably not.
Did Jokić even know that the person in the green jacket was Mat Ishbia, owner of the Phoenix Suns? Again, I doubt it.
Should Ishbia have been that close to the Nuggets star when he was trying to retrieve the ball? Or could the owner have been trying to intentionally provoke Nikola so that the Denver center might retaliate and be suspended?
I’ll let you answer those questions yourself.
When Jokić was asked about it during his allotted media time after the game, he had this to say regarding the incident:
“The fan put a hand on me first. I thought the league was supposed to protect us…maybe I’m wrong.”
It has still yet to be announced whether Jokić will be suspended for any of the remaining games in the seven game series. With each team having won two games apiece so far and the series tied up, a suspension of Denver’s best player could be costly for the Nugget’s title chances.
All in all, the shove was nothing close to the “Malice at the Palace” and you wouldn’t be able to tell based on the reaction from fans and media. It looked to me like the Suns owner really “sold” the fall after Nikola extended his arm.
There’s been a lot of drama surrounding the incident, but it might all be worth it thanks to this strange video game mod of the Denver Nuggets star going into the stands to fight the Suns owner.
Give the internet some credit, it moves pretty fast when it comes to memes: