Nikola Jokic misses flight to Orlando despite negative COVID-19 test
The Denver Nuggets departed for Orlando on Tuesday, but All-Star big man Nikola Jokic wasn’t on the flight.
According to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN, Jokic is still in Serbia. The Nuggets star is healthy and has tested negative for COVID-19 after contracting the virus a few weeks ago. However, he has to produce two negative coronavirus tests in his home country before traveling to the United States.
A source said Nikola Jokic is healthy. However, the center had to produce two negative coronavirus tests in Serbia before traveling to the United States. And then he was required to produce two more negative tests before flying to Orlando with the team.
A source said the timing of everything made it difficult and too tight of a fit for Jokic before the team departed on Tuesday.
Last week during a conference call with reporters, Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said the team was working on getting Jokic back to the United States. The “bubble” games at Walt Disney World start on July 30. Denver has already clinched a spot in the 2020 playoffs.
Before the season was suspended in March, Jokic was averaging 20.2 points, 10.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists for the Nuggets. The two-time All-Star, who lost a ton of weight during the NBA hiatus, was also shooting 52.8 percent from the field, 31.4 percent from beyond the arc and 81.3 percent from the free-throw line.
The Nuggets will face the Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs, Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and Toronto Raptors in their eight seeding games before the 2020 playoffs start.