Nikola Jokic climbs past Dikembe Mutombo for impressive Nuggets record
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic made franchise history on Wednesday night in their blowout win over the Charlotte Hornets, passing Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo for the team’s all-time lead in double-doubles.
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) March 18, 2021
Dikembe Mutombo was able to accrue his 227 Nuggets double-doubles in only five seasons with the team, while it took Nikola Jokic into his sixth. The Congo-born Mutombo started as soon as he came into the league as the fourth overall pick in the 1991 NBA Draft, whereas Jokic was drafted midway through the second round and only started 55 total games in his rookie season.
The four-time Defensive Player of the Year in Mutombo also played a whopping 14,411 minutes during his Nuggets tenure, a total that Jokic has yet to surpass (12,454) and counting.
Of course, while Jokic just passed Mutombo in that category, it also helps the Serbian that on any given night, he can put up double-digits in either rebounds or assists–in addition to his easy scoring–meaning that he essentially has double the chances to nab a double-double for the Nuggets than Mutombo did.
While Mutombo did have eight career triple-doubles with the Nuggets, that pales in comparison to Jokic, who just put up the 52nd of his career on Wednesday, which is already the ninth-most in NBA history ahead of such luminaries as Nuggets legend Fat Lever, Bob Cousy, Michael Jordan, Elgin Baylor and Clyde Drexler.
Jokic is having the best season of his career, which is saying a lot considering he’s made two straight All-NBA team (First Team in 2018-19 and Second Team in 2019-20). According to Basketball Reference he is the runaway leader in MVP probability with 40.6 percent.
Who knows if he’ll take that award, but becoming the Nuggets’ all-time leader in double-doubles is good enough for one night.