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#pounditSunday, May 26, 2024

Nikola Jokic draws absurd comparison from Lakers legend

Nikola Jokic with a ball in hand

May 16, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) controls the ball in the second quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers during game one of the Western Conference Finals for the 2023 NBA playoffs at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

One former Los Angeles Lakers great recently gave Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic the ultimate compliment.

Jokic played like a true MVP in Game 1 of his Western Conference first-round playoff series to lead the Nuggets to a 114-103 win over the Lakers at Ball Arena in Denver, Colo. Jokic tallied 32 points to go along with 12 rebounds and 7 assists on 15/23 shooting during Saturday’s win.

After the game, Hall-of-Famer James Worthy appeared on the Spectrum SportsNet postgame show. Worthy compared Jokic to two players that Lakers fans have probably heard of.

“To me, [Jokic] is Magic Johnson and Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar] on the floor at the same time,” said Worthy. “He’s a guard. He makes great decisions. Hell of a passer. And then when he wants to be Kareem, he goes down and dominates. He’s a special player that does a lot of things.”

Worthy is one of the few people on earth who have the standing to make such a lofty comparison. The North Carolina alum played seven years alongside both Magic and Kareem. Worthy also won three championships as the third star behind the two all-time greats.

Jokic on Sunday was named as one of the three finalists for the 2023-24 NBA MVP award. Jokic, who’s widely considered the favorite to win the award, could potentially have three MVP trophies at season’s end.

Jokic would join just eight players — including Johnson and Abdul-Jabbar — who have won at least three NBA MVP awards.

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