Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic was on the receiving end of some disrespect on ESPN’s recently released NBA player rankings. The Worldwide Leader ranked the league’s top 100 players and released the top 10 on Thursday.
Despite leading the Nuggets to their first-ever NBA title with a dominant playoff run in the spring. Jokic was not placed at the top spot. Instead, he fell behind Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Many fans were upset that the Joker didn’t come in at No.1 and their gripe is legitimate. Jokic’s performance throughout the course of the regular season and into the postseason was no joke. The Serbian put on a show during Denver’s run to the title, averaging 30.0 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 9.5 assists per game while shooting 54.8 % overall and 46.1% from beyond the arc.
Although Jokic was slighted by ESPN, the same can’t be said for the NBA’s GMs, who showed him plenty of love as part of a recent survey. Each year, the league’s executives vote for the top players and teams across several areas.
Denver’s No. 15 was voted No. 1 in the following categories:
- MVP pick
- Player that GMs would like to start a franchise with
- Best center
- Best passer
- Best Basketball IQ
What other Denver Nuggets cracked ESPN’s top 100?
In total, four Nuggets players were named to ESPN’s top 100 list. Jokic was joined by the following members of Denver’s squad:
- Michael Porter Jr., No. 68
- Aaron Gordon, No. 51
- Jamal Murray, No. 17
Are those rankings fair? Maybe.
Porter Jr. is coming off of a solid season as a starter, but has been plagued with a long history of injuries. This fall, he’s already picked up another. Porter Jr. was reportedly seen wearing a walking boot at Denver’s training camp.
Gordon’s ranking is respectable. He falls behind several All-Star-caliber players like Khris Middleton, James Harden, and Klay Thompson. Getting the All-Star nod is the next step for Gordon, as well as Murray.
Murray’s ranking is pretty impressive. Being named as a top 20 player in the league is no joke. After a high-level performance throughout the playoffs, the Canadian guard is primed for his first All-Star selection, and perhaps and All-NBA nod.