Nikola Jokić or ‘The Joker’ is a Serbian professional basketball player who plays as a center for the Denver Nuggets. He is arguably the best center in the league at the moment and epitomises the modern NBA center. His playmaking skills along with his versatile scoring have made him a monster on offense. Even if teams are to double team him, his court vision allows him to make passes to the open man for an easy bucket. He is the current holder of the MVP Award and the first center to win the award since Shaquille O’Neal in 2000.
Jokić was born on February 19 1995 in Sombor, Serbia. He lived in a small apartment with his parents, grandmother, and two older brothers. His brothers introduced him to the game and he fell in love with it. Jokić played youth basketball for Vojvodina Srbijagas. He received interest from bigger clubs and during the summer of 2012 he signed for Mega Basket. He declared for the 2014 NBA Draft after playing two seasons and was selected 41st overall. He played the 2014-2015 season in Serbia and won the ABA League’s MVP.
Even though Jokić was drafted in 2014, he only signed a deal in 2015. He started off his career in fine fashion as he made the NBA All-Rookie First Team and finished 3rd in the Rookie of the Year voting. His passing and playmaking at the center position made him an intriguing prospect.
He developed his game further, finishing second in the 2017 Most Improved Player voting. In 2018, He nearly led the Nuggets to the playoffs for the first time since 2013 but narrowly lost out to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Before the 2018-2019 NBA Season, Jokić signed a $148 million max extension. He repaid the team’s faith in him by earning his first NBA All-Star and All-NBA Team selections.
During the 2019-2020 season, alongside Jamal Murray, he led the team to their first conference finals since Melo was on the team in 2009.
Much was expected from Nikola and his team for the 2020-2021 season. He upped his production from an All-NBA level to an MVP level. He would average 26-11-8 for the season and picked up the MVP over Steph Curry and Joel Embiid.
3 times (2019-2021)
All-NBA First Team
All-NBA Second Team
NBA All-Rookie First Team
The Joker has amassed a net worth of $30 million over his six year NBA career. His current NBA Contract will pay him $31,579,390 through the 2021-2022 NBA Season. He has endorsement deals with Nike, Western Union, and Panini. The reported amount he earns is around $750K but with him winning the MVP, the amount is bound to rise.
Nikola Jokić was born in Sombor, Serbia. His father’s name is Branislav Jokić and his brother’s names are Nemanja and Strahinja. His mother’s identity is unknown. He married Natalija Mačešić on October 24, 2020 in his hometown of Sombor.
"When I'm old, fat and grumpy... I'm going to tell my kids back in the day I was really good playing basketball" - Nikola Jokic opens up on his MVP win, pokes fun at Shaquille O'Neal for lack of MVP awards
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