Why is Nikola Jokic called The Joker?

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Exploring the reason why Nikola Jokic is called The Joker (Image via Getty Images)

Nikola Jokic is also known as The Joker. The Denver Nuggets center has had this nickname for a couple of years and many fans and analysts use it frequently.

Jokic has certainly gotten a lot of attention over the past few seasons as he's been very dominant. The 6-foot-11 big man has won two MVP awards and is a candidate to win another one in the 2022-23 season, his third straight.

The five-time All-Star has completely embraced his nickname, but many fans don't know where it came from. It turns out that the nickname was given to Jokic by his former teammate.


Nikola Jokic has been known as The Joker for a couple of years

The Denver Nuggets superstar is from Serbia, which is why his last name is somewhat unusual. It is pronounced as "yo-kitch" and some fans can't pronounce it correctly. However, they have no problems pronouncing his nickname, The Joker.

Nikola Jokic's nickname originates from his last name, which is why it shares three letters with it. Not only is it easier to pronounce than Nikola's last name, but many basketball fans are familiar with another Joker, a DC villain.

Jokic's nickname has been very popular (Image via Getty Images)
Jokic's nickname has been very popular (Image via Getty Images)

However, Jokic's nickname has nothing to do with the antivillain from DC Comics. It is simply a play on words and the nickname was given to Jokic by Mike Miller, his former teammate.

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According to Howard Beck of Bleacher Report, Miller had trouble pronouncing Jokic's last name, which is why he came up with his own nickname for the big man. This nickname has eventually become so popular that now almost everyone uses it.

While the two-time MVP mostly looks serious on the court, he is supposedly very funny, which is another reason why he is called The Joker.

Mike Miller gets credit for giving Jokic his nickname (Image via Getty Images)
Mike Miller gets credit for giving Jokic his nickname (Image via Getty Images)

Miller had a successful 17-year NBA career, winning two championship rings with the Miami Heat. He had one of the biggest games of his career in Game 5 of the 2012 NBA Finals, but he's also left an impact on the Nuggets.

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The 6-8 sharpshooter spent the last two seasons of his career in Denver, playing alongside Nikola Jokic. He averaged only 1.4 ppg and 1.4 rpg, but he was a veteran who helped many young players on the team.

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Edited by Asmir Pekmic