It’s hard to believe, but star center and Western Conference playoffs MVP Nikola Jokic was drafted with the No. 41 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. That’s the 10th pick in the second round for those of you keeping score at home.
Coach Michael Malone suggested that Jokic going No. 41 seemed fair at first.
“That first Summer League in Vegas, 300 pounds, out of shape, hey, he’s a nice player,” Malone said, via Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports. “No one, and if anybody tells you different they’re full of it, no one could have seen that he’d be a two-time MVP passing Wilt Chamberlain every other night.”
Jokic is averaging 29.9 points, 13.3 rebounds and 10.3 assists during the Nuggets’ run to the Finals. But he’s all about winning, Malone added.
“He’s real. … Have you seen any stat-padding out there? I’m serious,” Malone said, via Mike Singer of the Denver Post.
- The Nuggets’ sweep wasn’t secure until LeBron James missed at the rim at the end, and Aaron Gordon said even then he was surprised the series was over. “It’s almost like shock a little bit. Are you sure we don’t have more time on the clock?” Gordon said, via Singer. “It’s like, oh no, we won.”
- The Nuggets have stressed that they aren’t satisfied with just winning the Western Conference. “It’s surreal, but we’re going to keep making history,” guard Jamal Murray said, via Wind.
- I wrote more about the Nuggets and their victory, and how all four ABA teams (Nuggets, Spurs, Nets, Pacers) have now reached the Finals right here.
On the #Nuggets franchise and the people that put them on the doorstep of history: pic.twitter.com/BWfOzwzvMm
— Mike Singer (@msinger) May 23, 2023
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