After leading the Denver Nuggets to their first-ever NBA championship, star center Nikola Jokic needed a bit of a breather. He elected to take the summer of and recover from a long, grueling playoff run, rather than to suit up for Serbia in the FIBA World Cup.
Despite The Joker’s absence, Serbia finished second to Germany, falling in the championship game 83-77.
Had Jokic played, there’s a strong chance that they may have taken home the gold. Nuggets assistant coach and Serbia Native Ogi Stojakovic isn’t holding Jokic’s decision against him and is in full support of the reigning Finals MVP.
“I know how he felt,” Stojakovic told The Denver Post’s Bennett Durando. “He had that pressure from one side, from the other side. … In those kinds of situations, whatever he decides, as a friend and as a coach, you need to embrace that and support him. He decided what was best for him in that moment, which I completely support.”
Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic has certainly enjoyed his time off
While the Serbian National Team was battling it out at the World Cup, Jokic was back home, enjoying his summer.
He was able to relax a bit and watch his horses compete in races at his local track. Jokic continued his winning ways there too, as his horse consistently finished towards the front of the pack.
When he wasn’t racing horses, Jokic was out having a good time. The two-time MVP was seen partying at nightclubs on multiple occasions this offseason, always appearing to be the life of the party.
The above video is actually of him celebrating with his fellow countrymen after they earned that second-place finish at this year’s FIBA World Cup.