Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images
Nikola Jokic is already one of the greatest players in Denver Nuggets history, and he may not stop until he achieves franchise legend status.
“I want to be the Tim Duncan of the Denver Nuggets,” Jokic told reporters at Denver’s media day Monday. “But I need to win a couple championships to be him.”
The two-time NBA MVP is on a Duncan-like trajectory in one respect since he has spent his entire career with the Nuggets. He’s going to remain in the Mile High City for the foreseeable future as well after signing a five-year, $272 million supermax extension.
Plenty of stars have pledged allegiance to their current team, only to leave at a later date. In the case of Jokic, his actions have backed up his words.
It wasn’t just that the 27-year-old agreed to a massive deal with the Nuggets; the agreement came with almost no drama whatsoever.
There weren’t weeks and months of breathless discourse about whether Jokic would stay in Denver and what his departure would mean for the Nuggets and the NBA as a whole. Following a first-round exit in the 2022 playoffs, he indicated he would sign a supermax extension and that was that.
Assuming he never does leave Colorado, Jokic will have a hard time matching the five titles Duncan won with the San Antonio Spurs across 19 seasons.
In that respect, Dirk Nowitzki is probably the better benchmark. Nowitzki won only one championship with the Dallas Mavericks, but that basically granted him sainthood in the city of Dallas.
For Jokic, bringing the Nuggets their first title would basically have the same effect in Denver.
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