The NBA is a league where talent is the deciding factor, and players are often judged solely on their on-court abilities. But what happens when critiques try to reduce a player’s talent to something less than what it is?
Well, Nuggets Head Coach Michael Malone is not one to stand idly by and watch his star player, Nikola Jokic, be diminished in such a way.
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) March 3, 2023
Nikola Jokic, the center for the Denver Nuggets, embodies the archetype of a gentle giant in the NBA. Despite being a superstar, his unassuming demeanor stands in stark contrast to the intensity he displays on the court every night, leading his team to victory.
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Despite this, Jokic has faced unwarranted criticism and attempts to undermine his remarkable on-court performance The Denver Nuggets head coach feels the criticisms directed towards Nikola Jokic serve as evidence of his complete dominance in the league.
Why had Michael Malone defended Nikola Jokic?
As per a report by Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports, Malone made this statement in response to certain controversial opinions that have recently surfaced in basketball discussions:
“Maybe they’re just tired of this player, this non-athletic player from Sombor, Serbia who continues to kick everybody’s ass”, Malone had the perfect retort, “Maybe people have a hard time with that. I don’t know.”
This statement clearly shows that Michael Malone defends Nikola Jokic. Undoubtedly, Nikola Jokic is a formidable presence in the NBA, proving to be an unsolvable puzzle for teams trying to restrict his performance.
The Denver Nuggets boss admires his star player and sees a lot of similarities between the 28-year-old Center and NBA legend LeBron James in terms of their IQ.
"They are so similar in terms of their IQ"
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) February 23, 2023
How well is Nikola Jokic doing this season?
In the ongoing season, Jokic has been averaging an impressive 24.6 points per game, with a remarkable 63.3 percent shooting from the field and an impressive 39.8 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
In addition to his impressive scoring, Jokic is also registering 11.7 rebounds and 10.0 assists per game, making him a strong contender to finish the 2022-23 NBA regular season with a triple-double average, and an efficient one at that.
Jokic currently boasts an offensive rating of 124.8, accompanied by an impressive 66.1 effective field goal percentage and 70.3 true shooting percentage, which is either the best or second-best on the team, irrespective of the number of minutes or games played this season.
Nevertheless, the amount of criticism directed at Nikola Jokic is surely unjust and it was a heartfelt gesture from Michael Malone where the coach send a clear message to the sporting world that Nikola Jokic is not alone.