Mike Malone: Five years now I’ve never said ‘Nikola’ and ‘fast’ in the same sentence

2019-12-15T12:20:51+00:00 2019-12-15T12:20:51+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

15/Dec/19 12:20

DENVER, CO - APRIL 29: Head Coach Michael Malone and Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets high five during Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs against the Portland Trail Blazers on April 29, 2019 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

Nikola Jokic had quite the reaction to his coach’s comments.

By Eurohoops team/ info@eurohoops.net

Denver Nuggets coach Mike Malone gave his star center Nikola Jokic credit for his triple-double performance in the win over the Oklahoma City Thunder and for how much the Serbian big man has improved his physical shape recently.

“Nikola… He’s been working really hard before and after practice. I think he’s getting in great shape and he looked… fast out there. Think about that,” Malone said before asking a reporter to not interrupt him since, well, it’s not every day that he discusses how fast Jokic is.

In fact, Malone mentioned that he doesn’t recall ever talking about Jokic’s speed. “Five years now, I’ve never said ‘Nikola’ and ‘fast’ in the same sentence,” he joked.

Malone analyzed what Jokic has been doing in order to reclaim his form, saying that the All-Star big man also looks like he’s also lost a lot of weight.

“Nikola was struggling and he wanted to find anything he could do,” Malone said. ‘Work on my game, work on my craft, work on my body, get stronger, get in better shape.’ He’s been putting a lot of time in and when I look at him, it looks like he’s lost a lot of weight. He’s got more energy out there.”

Jokic’s reaction to Malone’s compliments? Pretty much in character

“Finally, something athletic in the same sentence as me,” Jokic said per Brendan Vogt.