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  • Writer's pictureChristos Davos

Sport Stories: Nikola Jokic

The Denver Nuggets have been at the top of the NBA for a few days now for the first time in their history with Nikola Jokic being the big star of both the team and this season in the best league in the world.

The Serb was born in the town of Sobor in Northern Serbia in 1995. He grew up in a two-bedroom apartment where the whole family lived, his father, his mother, his two brothers and his grandmother. From his early years, Jokic saw his whole family "stuck" with basketball. His two older brothers were involved in basketball, as was their father, with the result that little Nikola sat and watched the whole family playing their favorite sport. His brothers, although they were more than 10 years apart from Jokic, when he grew up they took him with them and even "forced" him to face them alone in several training sessions.

However, he himself wanted to do horse racing! Despite his love of horses, for the good of both himself and the sport, his father convinced him to take up basketball and is said to have forced him to his first practice, however, his love of food and Coca Cola, they had put on extra pounds, which was not an encouraging factor. But this did not seem to hinder him in particular, as his basketball intelligence and talent was evident from the first moment he caught the ball in his hands. For the given time he was not particularly tall so he started as a playmaker which helped him pass exceptionally well despite his height.

The follow-up was unexpectedly good, with the result that a few years later he turned professional and moved to the capital of Serbia, Belgrade. He competed in Mega Lakes and his numbers were outstanding. The 2013-14 season was his first "full" season and in 25 appearances in the Adriatic League he averaged 11.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists.

However, to make his professional start, the well-known agent Misko Raznatovic was also responsible, who discovered him in Vojvodina. For the next three years she helped him improve as a professional, stopping his bad eating habits, improving his physical condition and developing. Thus, in 2014, he was selected in the 41st position of the draft and the continuation is now known, culminating in the conquest of the NBA for the first time in the history of the Denver Nuggets.

Thus, the Serb was named the best basketball player in the magical world of the sport in the USA and became the third European to do so after Dirk Nowitzki and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Some of the records that Nikola Jokic has achieved in the NBA are:

· Highest single-season player efficiency rating in NBA history (32.85).

· Highest single-season plus-minus percentage in NBA history (13.72).

· Fastest triple-double in NBA history (14 minutes and 33 seconds).

· Only NBA player selected in the second round of the draft to win the MVP award.

· Only NBA player to reach at least 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 500 assists in a single season.

· Only NBA player to average at least 25 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists per game while shooting 55% from the field in a season.

· Only NBA player to average at least 25 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists per game in a single season.

· Only NBA player to lead his team in all five major stats (points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks) and field goal percentage in the same season.


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