The best players in the NBA stand out due to their ability to show up for their team on a consistent basis. Thus, having players that could at least slow them down is imperative for any team looking to win a championship. But when the Denver Nuggets traded for Aaron Gordon in 2021, they didn't exactly acquire someone with a reputation for being one of the best perimeter defenders in the association.

However, being with the Nuggets invigorated many parts of Gordon's game. His efficiency has skyrocketed as a result of playing alongside Nikola Jokic, as he no longer has to create for himself too often unlike when he was with the Orlando Magic. But it's his emergence as a defensive stopper that's been a huge revelation. And Gordon is surely proud of the work he's put in on that end of the court.

Live and breathe the NBA?

🚨 Get viral NBA graphics, memes, rumors and trending news delivered right to your inbox with the Clutch Newsletter.

In fact, Aaron Gordon joked about being able to “lock up” the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and now Jimmy Butler during what has been shaping up to be a historic Nuggets playoff run.

“I'll be sitting in my rocking chair when I'm 79, 90 years old, talking about kids, like, ‘yeah, back in the day I locked these guys up,'” Gordon said following the Nuggets' 104-93 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the 2023 NBA Finals, per HoopsHype.

But on a more serious note, Aaron Gordon made sure to let reporters know that he's just doing his part to put the Nuggets in the best position to succeed. And so far, with his team only three wins away from immortality, he's doing a stellar job in his role.

“It's part of the game. I'm doing what my team needs me to do. Like I said, it's a team effort. It always is. It takes five guys out there to play complete defense,” Gordon added.

Facing a murderer's row of opposition certainly requires a multi-person effort, but Gordon is certainly at the heart of what the Nuggets are trying to do defensively. Now, all he needs to do is to put up a few more games of lockdown defense against the Heat to earn the right to become champion.