Charles Barkley has never been one to bite his tongue. The case was the same last week when he made an appearance on The Bill Simmons Podcast and discussed the modern NBA. Barkley had some high praise for Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets, while also voicing his displeasure with super teams.
“With all the BS that goes on in the NBA, what the Nuggets and the Joker accomplished just made me feel good,” Barkley told Bill Simmons (h/t Harrison Wind). “No super team, no drama. With Kyrie [Irving] there’s drama. That’s the thing, Joker and Giannis [Antetokounmpo] make me feel good about my sport.”
Barkley is right. Last season’s Nuggets team really felt like a throwback powerhouse. They were headed by a world-class big man in Jokic, and then had a fantastic supporting cast of quality players. They were actually a team that many didn’t feel like much of a favorite heading into the postseason. Denver only had odds of +1100 prior to this season’s playoffs, according to DraftKings sportsbook, despite being the top seed in the Western Conference.
What makes Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets so special?
Sir Charles had plenty of good things to say about Jokic and the Nuggets — deservedly so. They had a special 2022-23 season, and look to be ready to compete for years to come.
The Serbian gives the team such a unique offensive presence, with his ability to do just about everything. He can score both inside and out, as well as set up his teammates with easy looks.
Last season, he averaged 30.0 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 9.5 assists per game while shooting 54.8% from the field and 46.1% from deep, as he led the way for the Nuggets’ first-ever NBA championship.
The many ways that he’s able to impact winning make Denver much more fluid as a whole, allowing other players to be the best versions of themselves because of Jokic.