Serbian sensation Nikola Jokic has grown into a superstar during his time with the Denver Nuggets. Originally drafted in the second round of the 2014 NBA Draft, Jokic has been named to five NBA All-Star teams, five All-NBA teams, and has led the Nuggets to their first-ever NBA championship.
He’s become something of a role model for younger European talents in the NBA, like Houston Rockets center Alperen Sengun. Sengun recently chatted with Semih Tuna of EuroHoops, and discussed his goals as an NBA player.
Amongst those was to win an NBA title, like Jokic did last season in Denver.
“A championship has been my dream since I went to the NBA,” Sengun said. “I think that’s everyone’s dream, as well as Nikola Jokic’s and it took him eight years to be able to win a championship. Now, we have a good dream in the Rockets and I hope we’ll do our best next season and enter the playoffs.”
Alperen Sengun plays a similar game to Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic
If Sengun’s goal is to become a similar player to the two-time MVP, then he’s headed in the right direction. The 21-year-old Rockets’ centerpiece has displayed a clear playmaking ability during his two NBA seasons.
Jokic has made playmaking a key aspect of his game. He set his teammates up nonstop in their championship campaign, averaging 9.8 assists per game — a career-high. The 28-year-old’s unselfishness makes things considerably easier for the rest of the Nuggets, allowing them to play with more freedom as the defense keys in on Jokic.
Last year, Sengun took a leap towards being more like The Joker. First, he became a regular starter for Houston, coming off of the bench in just three games, compared to 59 bench appearances in his rookie campaign. His scoring and assist numbers shot up as well. He averaged 14.8 points and 3.9 assists per game in 2022-23. Those numbers were much better than the 9.6 points and 2.6 assists he averaged the year prior.