Nikola Jokic on former teammate Jusuf Nurkic: “Monster in the glass”

2024-03-06T12:27:14+00:00 2024-03-06T12:27:14+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

06/Mar/24 12:27
Garrett Ellwood / Getty Images / Ideal Image

Early in their respective careers, Nikola Jokic and Jusuf Nurkic were teammates at the Denver Nuggets with the Joker outlasting the fellow European upstart and emerging as the franchise player

By Johnny Askounis/

It has been a minute since the Denver Nuggets opted for Nikola Jokic over Jusuf Nurkic. The choice eventually led to the Serbian superstar leading the team to the first NBA championship in franchise history.

“He was young here,” Jokic referred to the Bosnian center landing in Mile-High City between 2014 and 2017, “I think he was still trying to figure things out. I think he had great, great years in Portland. And now he is a great fit for them [Phoenix Suns]. He can defend really well. He is a big guy who can probably in some situations switch one through five. Monster in the glass.”

In an overtime win against his former team in Ball Arena on Tuesday, Nurkic chipped in seven points, 12 rebounds, six assists, two blocks, and two steals before fouling out in an attempt to contain Jokic with 2:28 remaining. He was labeled as the key player for the win by Frank Vogel. “He was spectacular on both sides of the ball. Took four shots and was our best offensive player,” mentioned the head coach of the Suns.

In additional praise, the Sombor native ranked Nurkic among the most powerful centers in the league. “Definitely up there. Him, probably, Joel [Embiid], Steven Adams. I don’t want to miss somebody. But those three off the top of my head,” he said.

Jokic posted a 25-point, 16-rebound double-double but missed an opportunity to seal a win as time ran out in the fourth quarter.

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