Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic earns Tim Duncan comparison after dominant performance vs. Bulls
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic may have just earned the highest of praises from his head coach Michael Malone after the Serbian’s dominant performance in their 118-112 win over the Chicago Bulls. Malone suggested that the Nuggets franchise superstar was like San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan, in that both of them carry themselves in such a humble way despite being among the upper echelon of elite players in the league.
“I’m not saying he’s Tim Duncan,” Malone said. “Tim Duncan is arguably the greatest power forward to ever play the game. All I’m saying is that Tim Duncan was a world champion, and he was probably the most humble guy that you ever saw.
“Nikola carries himself in the same light,” Malone said.
This must be music to The Joker’s ears, considering Duncan was one of the players he idolized growing up. In response to Malone’s claims, Jokic revealed that, as a young boy in Serbia, he used to watch and study Duncan carve out a Hall of Fame career that saw him reach the NBA summit five times. He also praised Duncan’s approach to the game and admitted he’s certainly a good role model to follow.
“I looked a little bit at his videos, how he’s playing the game,” Jokic revealed after obliterating Chicago’s frontcourt for 17 points in the fourth quarter and rescuing a Nuggets win.
“I can just imagine him in his prime,” Jokic said after coach Michael Malone raised the comparison in his postgame press conference. “I think he knew it in every moment what he’s going to do on the floor, how he can manipulate the defender or whatever. He’s a good guy to look up for.”
Duncan is arguably the greatest power forward this game has ever seen. Meanwhile, Jokic is already on the trajectory of becoming one of the best big men in the history of the NBA. Heck, he already has a strong case for being the best passing big of all time.
Obviously, Jokic is still ways away from reaching Duncan’s level in terms of career accomplishments. If he continues to play at the MVP level he’s at this 2020-21 season, perhaps multiple MVPs and championships are in line The Joker in the future.