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#pounditMonday, February 26, 2024

Serbian figure shares big news about Nikola Jokic

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

After already conquering the National Basketball Association, Nikola Jokic is now setting his sights on the Olympic Games.

Legendary Serbian basketball coach Bozidar Maljkovic spoke with Juan Jimenez of European outlet AS.com this week and talked about Serbia’s second-place finish at this year’s FIBA World Cup. Maljkovic, who is the president of the Olympic Committee of Serbia, revealed that the Denver Nuggets star Jokic will suit up for Serbia at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

“We did not have NBA MVP, Nikola Jokic [at the FIBA World Cup],” said Maljkovic, per BasketNews. “Neither Vasilije Micic, MVP of the EuroLeague. Nor Nikola Kalinic. I think we come together and get the best out of us, as in all sports … In Paris, they will be all [be there], Jokic included. The Paris Games will be a party, and I am confident that Serbian sport will have a large participation.”

A return to the national team by the reigning Finals MVP Jokic is a pretty big deal. He featured on Serbia’s silver-medal-winning team at the 2016 Olympics in Rio after his second NBA season but has taken several multi-year hiatuses from the national team since then (often because the Nuggets play so deep into the season). Jokic more recently played for Serbia at the 2019 FIBA World Cup and at EuroBasket 2022 but skipped out on this year’s FIBA World Cup after leading Denver to the NBA championship.

Serbia already boasts several other current and former NBA players like Bogdan Bogdanovic, Nikola Jovic, and Marko Guduric. The reintegration of Jokic on top of that is tremendous news, especially with Jokic’s biggest NBA rival making a sizable Olympic move as well.

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