The best European in NBA history?
The Denver Nuggets are chasing a first ever NBA championship in the 2023 finals, with Serbian Nikola Jokic their undisputed leader.
Still only 28, the big man has already put together a sparkling resumé in his eight years in the North American basketball league.
He has won two NBA MVP awards, and came second in the voting this year. He was aiming for the first three-peat since Larry Bird in 1984-86.
In this season’s playoffs, Jokic has starred in a run to the finals that has seen Denver beat the Minnesota (4-1), Phoenix (4-2) and the Lakers (4-0).
His NBA achievements make him one of the best ever Europeans to play in the league. He’s right up there with Dallas Mavericks great Dirk Nowitzki.
In the three rounds before the finals, Jokic averaged 29.9 points, 13.3 rebounds and 10 assists - figures reminiscent of days gone by.
In a period where big men are less prevalent, Jokic is a dominant center who not only scores and rebounds, but is a playmaker.
Thanks to his good-humoured attitude in his dealings with the media, he has also made himself a popular figure among NBA fans.
However, Jokic has been known to get embroiled in altercations on the court, and is repeatedly has technical fouls called against him.
The Nuggets project that he leads, together with coach Mike Malone and point guard Jamal Murray, is going great guns. It has a bright future.
A generational talent, Jokic is out to further cement his status as one of the all-time greats by securing the first NBA championship ring of his career.