Nuggets star Nikola Jokic makes final decision on Tokyo Olympics
Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic announced Wednesday he will not be playing for his native Serbia in Olympic qualifying and will not participate in the Tokyo Olympics if the national team does in fact qualify.
This isn’t much of a surprise given Jokic’s workload the past two seasons. Jokic led the Nuggets to the Western Conference Finals in the bubble, with Denver coming back from consecutive 3-1 deficits before losing to the Los Angeles Lakers.
After a short offseason, Jokic then played all 72 regular-season games in 2020-21, winning MVP in the process. He played 10 more games in the playoffs as the Nuggets beat the Portland Trail Blazers in Round 1 before falling to the Phoenix Suns in a sweep in the Western Conference Semifinals. With Jamal Murray tearing his ACL in mid-April, Joker had to carry an even heavier load.
Nikola Jokic has earned this time off and will look to get some rest before returning to defend his MVP crown in the 2021-22 season. It’s unclear if Murray will be ready to go by the start of next season since it’s beginning in mid-October (good chance he won’t be), so Jokic will have to be at the top of his game again to lead Denver.
Jokic isn’t the only NBA star skipping out on the Olympics this season. LeBron James and Anthony Davis won’t be participating, and others are likely to pass as well. Damian Lillard and Draymond Green have committed to play for Team USA in Tokyo, as has Jayson Tatum.