Ex. Denver Nuggets guard predicts early retirement for Nikola Jokic

Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Nikola Jokic is coming off one of the most impressive individual playoff performances in league history. His emphatic 30.0 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 9.5 assists per game on shooting splits of 54.8 % overall and 46.1% from beyond the arc helped lead the Denver Nuggets to their first-ever NBA title.

The Serbian is set to turn 29 years old next season, leaving him with plenty of more years in the tank, right?

Well, maybe not if you ask former Nuggets guard Austin Rivers.

Rivers recently chatted with The Ringer’s Bill Simmons on The Bill Simmons Podcast and discussed how long he believes The Joker will lace ’em up for.

“No chance,” Rivers told Simmons after being asked if the big man is like other players who want to play late into their 30s. “… I have him playing another five, six years. I have him playing until like 34, 35.”

Is Austin Rivers right about Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic potentially retiring early?

Well, time will tell.

But, Jokic is undoubtedly still in his prime. He’s made five straight NBA All-Star appearances, captured two of the last three MVP awards, and just won a Finals MVP.

He doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon either. His game is slow-paced and he doesn’t rely heavily on athleticism in order to be effective. With that being said, Jokic should have no problem controlling games for as long as he desires.

That’s the thing — how long is he going to want to dominate for?

The big man was clear that he just wanted to go home this summer after Denver hoisted the Larry O’Brien trophy. He wanted to spend time with his horses and his family and did just that for the entire offseason.

Jokic’s desire to fly under the radar when he’s not on the basketball court is something that may be very telling in this situation.

He doesn’t crave fame and only seems to care about winning and his personal life — nothing more.

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