Nikola Jokic wants to be the Tim Duncan of the Denver Nuggets. But the Serbian big man says he needs to win a couple of championships to be like a Spurs legend.

Credit: FIBA
Credit FIBA

Denver Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic told reporters at media day Monday that he is eager to achieve with the Denver Nuggets something that Tim Duncan accomplished in San Antonio.

Nikola Jokic

Nikola  Jokic
Position: C, PF
Age: 27
Height: 208 cm
Weight: 111 kg
Birth place: Serbia

"It's really nice to be here [in Denver]," Jokic said. "I want to be the Tim Duncan of the Denver Nuggets, but I need to win a couple of championships to be him. I like the city, organization, the people. I really enjoy it here. I don't want to change anything."

Then the two-time NBA MVP talked about his summer and EuroBasket experience.

"I played in the EuroBasket so I didn't have a complete offseason, but I think I had time to rest. I usually don't take that much of a break," Jokic spoke, adding that Serbia's fiasco in the European Championship did not affect his mental state like a loss in World Cup 2019.

"The worst beginning of my season was probably after the World Cup in China. But I think I'm good right now," he stressed.

During the Milwaukee Bucks' media day, Giannis Antetokounmpo said that 'the game in Europe is way harder than in the NBA.' Asked about that, Jokic had the same opinion to share. 

"It's a different game. Of course, it's a little bit because of the rules. A little bit with the spaces on the floor, the 3-point line. There's no defensive three-second violation in the key. The floor is smaller. The big man can be in the paint. The 3-point line is shorter. It was a new, old experience. I didn't play for the national team for a long time.

"Is it harder? Yes, because I think you really need to have quick thinking," Jokic pointed out. "In the NBA, if you go by the guy, you can see the help is coming. In Europe, help is always there. So, you need to think and play ahead. It's interesting."

Jokic was also reminded of his duel with Giannis in Belgrade, where Serbia hosted Greece in the World Cup European Qualifiers. Both players put on a show at that time.

'The Joker' ended up with 29 points (9/13 2PT, 2/3 3PT, 5/10 FT), 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, and 6 turnovers for 28 EFF. For his part, Giannis had 40 points (12/18 2PT, 2/7 3PT, 10/14 FT), 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 3 turnovers, and 37 EFF.

"I think we made history. It was the biggest game ever [in Serbia]. I think it was a nice, interesting game. I am happy that we won. We made an easier path for the guys who will play for the rest of the windows. It was nice to play in front of your crowd and play for Serbia," Jokic said.

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