NUGGETS

Fresh off a super-max extension Nikola Jokic eyes retiring in Denver

Sep 26, 2022, 3:37 PM
Nikola Jokic...
Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Nikola Jokic broke the bank this summer, signing the richest contract in the history of the NBA.

The deal will keep the Joker in Denver through the 2028 season when he’ll be 33 years old. The Nuggets star center was drafted by the club in 2014, and he may never play for another team. He’s already one of the best players in franchise history, winning two straight NBA MVPs, and he’s primed to take down a bunch of club records.

Jokic returned from Serbia for Nuggets Media Day on Monday, where he spoke to Denver’s journalists for the first time since inking the deal.

“It’s really nice to be here, and like I said, I wanted to be the Tim Duncan of the Denver Nuggets. But I need some in a couple of championships to be him,” he said. “But I like the city, the organization, like the people. So I really enjoy it here. I didn’t want to change anything.”

The comparison to the legendary Virgin Islander is fascinating. Most compare Jokic to Dirk Nowitzki, but the German only won one title and was a one-time MVP. Duncan was named the league’s best player twice and led his team to five titles. Both spent their entire careers with their Texas teams, but why Duncan, instead of Dirk, points to how ambitious Jokic is about rings.

“Yeah, that’s the goal,” Jokic said about spending his entire career in Denver. But he didn’t want to full out commit in case something happened. “What if Nick (O’Hayre of Nuggets PR) throws something at me and I want to quit.”

Still, a superstar that equals no other in Nuggets history is here for a long time and likely to stay. And in the little hints he drops, he shows his goal is to bring Denver its first NBA title.

Jokic’s career averages are 19.7 points, 10.4 rebounds and 6.2 assists a game on 57.9 eFG%, Dirk went for 20.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists a night on 49.6 eFG%, while Duncan was 19.0 points, 10.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists a contest on 50.7 eFG.

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