If you need the explanation Nikola Jokic is kidding and poking fun at himself in this answer, you need to step back and work on your sense of humor. Life is far too short not to laugh.
Denver has strung together a series of quality wins — including snapping Utah’s 11-game win streak, with Jokic scoring 47 — and now everyone is looking forward to a benchmark game coming up Thursday against the Lakers Thursday. That led to a reporter asking Jokic Wednesday on a Zoom session about how he compares to LeBron James (via Mike Singer of the Denver Post).
Nikola Jokic on similarities with LeBron James: “The speed is there. We are the same athletically. … I don’t know. Can he jump as high as me?”
“…Guys, I am joking.”
— Mike Singer (@msinger) February 3, 2021
That is brilliant.
And again, obviously, the man is joking around.
Jamal Murray gave a more serious, interesting answer.
Jamal Murray on Nikola Jokic: "Joker should easily be in the conversation with LeBron, Larry Bird…the way he sees the floor, he's just an unselfish passer and he can score when he wants to. That's the difficult part, someone who can score when he wants to but also pass."
— Harrison Wind (@HarrisonWind) February 3, 2021
Murray nails it. What makes some of the greats hard to stop is incredible vision and passing combined with the ability to get buckets. Larry Bird was very much that kind of player, and so is LeBron — he led the league in assists last year. Luka Doncic is that kind of player now. Jokic is not as pure a bucket getter as LeBron can be, but he can score from all three levels and carve a team up with his passing. Jokic is playing at an MVP level this season.
It’s going to be interesting to watch how the Lakers defend him, and how much time Anthony Davis and LeBron get on Jokic.