The Age of Jokic needs to take shape
The Serbian center has to work on his weight and maturity
BY DAVID THORPE
There was a time, not too long ago, when Nikola Jokic was the second-best player entering training camp–at his position, on his first NBA team. There was a time, just a few years earlier, when he looked more like a gigantically tall Augustus Gloop from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory than he did a professional athlete. Those days are long gone. We saw the change last season in the NBA and continued to see it in the opening round of the World Cup in China. Enough so that we can say we’ve officially entered the Age of Jokic–and we might be in it for quite awhile–provided Jokic works more on what he needs most: a sleeker, more mature version of himself.
Jokic’s inability to impact the fourth quarter of his Serbia team’s World Cup quarterfinal upset loss today to Argentina, due in large part to his fatigue, led to his benching for the final three minutes. What he needs to do as he heads into his fifth season with the Denver Nuggets is obvious. What isn’t as obvious is whethe…