Nikola Jokić’s Legendary Play Goes Far Beyond Just The MVP Conversation

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DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 13: As time expires Nikola Jokic (15) of the Denver Nuggets walks off the court against the Houston Rockets during the second half of the Rockets' 109-99 win on Monday, November 13, 2018. The Denver Nuggets hosted the Houston Rockets at the Pepsi Center. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Nikola Jokic has been a revelation this season. Even more than last year, as he is in the MVP conversation right now. And he is leading the Nuggets, the fourth youngest team in the league, who missed the playoffs for five years, to the first seed in the west. His season numbers, though outstanding and historic, do not really pop out at the regular fan. But his impact and his game is something the NBA has almost never seen. We take a look at how Jokics has the Nuggets in prime position to succeed now and for years to come.

As of January 11th, 2019, Jokić is averaging 19/10/8 as a seven-foot center. This has made people take notice, and as a result, he has been put in the MVP conversation along with an All-Star lock. If he ends the season averaging more than seven assists, which he is doing now, he will be the first seven-footer to average such a stat line since Wilt Chamberlain. However, Jokić has many more of these legendary and almost never done before numbers. He has found himself in the same room as players like Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and more, in certain categories.

Nikola Jokić’s Legendary Play Goes Far Beyond Just The MVP Conversation

What is so “Historic” and “Legendary” about Jokic?

  • Nikola Jokić is the second player ever to score 30 or more points in a triple-double without missing a single shot. The only other player to do that? Wilt Chamberlain.
  • Jokić is the second center ever to have 15 or more assists in a single game (he has multiple), the first was Wilt Chamberlain.
  • Jokić and Chamberlain are the only players 6’10” or taller to have three straight triple-doubles.
  • He has the second most 10 or more assist games by a center in NBA history. Second, too, you guessed it, Wilt Chamberlain.
  • Only six players in NBA history have averaged 18/10/6 regardless of position in a single season, those are Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, Kevin Garnett, Oscar Robertson, Russell Westbrook, and after last season, Nikola Jokić. A great room to be in.
  • He also got the fastest Triple-Double in NBA history last season in a jaw-dropping 14 minutes and 33 seconds. He beat the previous fastest time of Jim Tucker in 1955 (17 minutes)
  • On January 10th, 2019 he tied Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for second most triple-doubles by a center in NBA history (21). Now he is only second to Wilt.
  • Jokić is the third youngest player ever to reach 20 triple-doubles (23), behind Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson (22).

Appreciating Greatness

Jokić has accomplished these while being only 23 years old. That is four years in the league and only around two seasons of starting. That is unbelievable. He has improved drastically over each year, and one can only assume that will keep going. And if so, he could go down as one of the best centers, if not players, of all time. NBA fans should be ecstatic that they can watch such a generational and historic talent in the likes that we have almost never seen before.

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