By Antigoni Zachari / firstname.lastname@example.org
Denver Nuggets star and 2020-21 NBA season MVP Nikola Jokic will not join the Serbian selection for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament nor for the Olympics in case the team qualifies, the player informed Wednesday, via a statement on Serbian state news agency Tanjug.
“To my great regret, this is the moment when I have to announce that despite my great desire, I am not able to play for the national team. Simply, the condition of my body requires a longer absence from the court to recover. I have to accept that. I am sure that the guys have the quality to make a result without me, which will bring us all a lot of joy”, Jokic mentioned in his statement.
This is a major blow for a heavy loaded Serbian selection, though we should keep in mind that Jokic did not miss a single game with Denver this season (72 games in total), posting an average of 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds and 8.3 assists, en route to his MVP honor.
Serbia will host the FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament from June 29 to July in Belgrade, also featuring the national teams of Italy, Puerto Rico, Senegal, the Philippines and the Dominican Republic, for a ticket to Tokyo’s Olympics.
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