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#pounditSunday, September 20, 2020

Nuggets president raves about Nikola Jokic’s fitness

Nikola Jokic

Nikola Jokic is one of the heaviest players in the NBA today, but he may be pulling up to Orlando looking like a changed man.

Speaking this week with Altitude Sports Radio, Denver Nuggets president Tim Connelly raved about Jokic’s improved fitness during the league’s hiatus.

“He showed up in great shape,” said Connelly, per Eurohoops. “He’s sitting there. He sent me a picture. No shirt on. He’s got abs. I’ve never seen him have abs before. He’s beach ready. He has abs.”

Nuggets teammate Jamal Murray also commented on the All-Star big man’s new physique in a conference call with reporters on Friday.

“Hey, Joker got a little four pack,” said Murray, per ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “I love it … Remember probably [my] second year [2017-18] how skinny Joker was. You could start to see him put on the weight. He put on a lot more and then he took it, just like, it’s just gone. He took it all the way out. It is kind of weird to see him like this where he is a lot more athletic, moving a lot better.”

Jokic, who is listed officially at 284 pounds, has already proven to be an elite, versatile talent despite being largely ground-bound. He was leading Denver in points (20.9), rebounds (10.2), and assists per game (6.9) this season and carries much of their title hopes along with him.

While Jokic is nicknamed “Big Honey” and has heard some jokes about his large frame, a slimmed-down figure could make it harder for opposing teams to attack him in the pick-and-roll. It may also give true centers more difficulty guarding Jokic on offense and ultimately make the Nuggets a very tough out come playoff time.

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