Nikola Jokic: I don’t chase awards

2023-01-01T16:52:49+00:00 2023-01-01T19:02:17+00:00.

Bojan Brezovac

01/Jan/23 16:52

Nikola Jokic opens up in a big interview about MVP awards, Luka Doncic, and more…

By Eurohoops team/

Claiming the lead, again, for the MVP award, back-to-back NBA MVP Nikola Jokic has demanded consideration for a third award as he has carried the Nuggets to tying for first in the West with his near-triple double-season average. Close behind him, Jayson Tatum has been ranked second as he and Jaylen Brown have led the Celtics to the best record in the NBA thus far. Following a historic 60/21/10 performance, Luka Doncic rounds out the top three as a scoring maniac who is averaging 33.7 points per game, just a tenth of a point below league leader Joel Embiid.

But, Jokic admits he is not chasing awards.

To be honest, the MVP trophy might mean a little more to me when I finish my career. I didn’t chase that recognition or think about it. When you want something and then you get it, it’s logical to be happy. However, that award wasn’t for me not even on my mind, so maybe I’m not overjoyed enough because of that. I have to admit that I don’t play for records, nor to be the best in triple-doubles“, Nikola Jokic, said in an interview for Serbian TV Arena Sport.

He admits, he is not looking to score like he used to.

As he explained: “We have Jamal Murray back who can score 50 points, Aaron Gordon can drop 20, 30, or 40, and Michael Porter Jr. can make seven, eight threes. [Kentavious] Caldwell-Pope is also good from distance, while we have guaranteed energy from the bench with Bones Hyland. We have a new team. This year I play differently compared to the previous two, but my performance remained similar, if not the same,. The best players usually take the most shots. As for me, I always take what the game gives me. It sometimes happens that I score over 40 points, and sometimes I don’t even drop 10. I like to show that scoring isn’t the most important thing and that you can affect the game in different ways“.

The best Serbian basketball player commented also on Luka Doncic’s statement that “it is much easier to score a basket in the NBA than in the Euroleague”…

Maybe it’s easier for him because he plays in the backcourt, while I wrestle in the paint,” Jokić laughs for TV Arenasport and adds: “In Europe, there are no defensive three seconds, which takes a lot away from the offense. The three-point line is closer, so there is less room for maneuvering. I even made a comparison once – in Europe, the game is played as if there are ten rams in the barn and they all collide with each other because the space is tight. It was strange for me to play at EuroBasket under those conditions, but I quickly got used to it.”