Nikola Jokic: “It means a lot to the whole Nuggets collective”

Serb Nikola Jokic, the emblem of the Nuggets, celebrated qualifying for the first finals in the history of the Denver franchise on Monday, in memory of everyone who works for this team.

“I am very happy for my teammates and for the organization and how we struggled. I remember the days when no one came (to the stadium) and you could hear the ball bouncing on the field because there were no fans,” he said at a press conference.

“For the organization, for the people, for the coach (Mike Malone) and for all the players who were questioned… I’m just happy and this means a lot to the whole collective we have,” he added.

The Nuggets sealed their qualification for their first NBA Finals on Monday thanks to an impressive sweep against the Los Angeles Lakers by LeBron James (111-113 in the fourth game, 0-4 in the Western Finals aggregate).

The team led by Jokic and Jamal Murray, which was the best in the West in the regular season, will seek its first ring against the winner of the Eastern Final as the Miami Heat dominates 3-0 against the Boston Celtics.

Jokic had 30 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists to win the ‘Magic’ Johnson award for Western finals MVP.

The Serbian genius added his eighth triple-double to these playoffs to set a new record, surpassing Wilt Chamberlain (seven in 1967).

Jokic had accumulated several disappointments in the playoffs, but in these playoffs he comes away and averages a triple-double per game (spectacular 29.9 points, 13.3 rebounds and 10.3 assists on average) with an impressive 53.8% in field goals and 47.4% in triples.

“We beat a really good team. Every game except the first was very contested,” he said of his game against the Lakers.

Jokic also stressed that Denver knew how to recover on Monday despite losing 15 points at halftime and against a huge LeBron James (40 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists).

The center also paid special tribute to his teammate Jamal Murray, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament in 2021, missed the entire 2021-2022 season and returned in style this year.

“He’s been through a really tough period. He thought they were going to pass him. And the way he’s leading us now and controlling the game and taking shots (…) he’s playing really well. I’m very happy for Jamal, who shows what he is worth and who is a special player in this league,” he said.

Source: El heraldo