Nikola Jokic: the Denver Nuggets’ new all-time rebounds leader

Denver Nuggets v Brooklyn Nets
Denver Nuggets v Brooklyn Nets / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets made history last summer with their first-ever NBA championship. During the reigning champions’ recent road trip, the Joker made even more history.

In a Dec. 22 road win over the Brooklyn Nets, Jokic became Denver’s all-time regular-season rebounds leader. The Big Honey passed Dan Issel with career rebound No. 6,631. In a 122-117 victory, Jokic dropped 31 points, 11 boards, and seven assists.

The Nuggets ended their three-game road trip the next night with their fourth straight win. The defending champs, who hold a 21-10 record this season, overcame a banged-up Charlotte Hornets squad in a 102-95 decision. Jokic collected 10 more rebounds in that contest.

Denver will host the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day in a highly anticipated matchup. Jokic will enter the contest with a franchise-best 6,641 rebounds. Over the last five seasons, Jokic also leads the league in playoff rebounds with 638. He ranks sixth in postseason minutes during that stretch.

Jokic now leads the Nuggets in both all-time rebounds and all-time assists. He has dropped 4,236 regular-season dimes over his eight years in the NBA. In 68 playoff games, the Joker has dished out 496 assists.

In his postgame press conference, Nuggets head coach Michael Malone praised Jokic for his incredible rebounding accomplishment.

"For Nikola to grab 6,631 rebounds and pass him (Dan Issel) … it seems like every night there’s some kind of note with ‘Nikola Jokic passed this guy.’ When you’re in the same conversation as a Dan Issel, you know you’re doing something right. We all realize how fortunate and blessed we are to have Nikola in Denver, and he’s gonna be a Nugget for life. We’re all gonna see him pass and break a lot more records."

Michael Malone

With his latest achievement, Jokic bolstered his status as the greatest Nugget ever. This season, the All-NBA big man has averaged 26.4 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 9.2 assists. He has averaged his most field goal attempts since becoming an All-Star in 2019 while also averaging his fewest amount of turnovers since then.

After the Brooklyn win, Jokic talked to Denver media in the locker room about his increased shot attempts.

"I really don’t know. Maybe the team wants me to shoot more. I cannot explain it, to be honest. I think it just happened to be like that. I didn’t go into the season and say ‘I’m gonna shoot more.’ It just happened to be more."

Nikola Jokic

The Mile High City will continue to cherish their Serbian sensation for as long as he is playing in Denver. Jokic has a real shot at ending his career as the all-time leader in points, rebounds, and assists for the Nuggets. Only time will tell how much further the basketball legend can grow his NBA legacy.