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Totally random facts about Nuggets star Nikola Jokic

This guy loves soda.

DENVER — He’s a two-time MVP who could easily be in the running for Colorado's greatest professional athlete of all time. Here are some random facts about Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic.

1. He reportedly got his nickname "Joker"  from former teammate Mike Miller, who couldn't pronounce Jokic (yo-kitch).

2. He loves the TV show "Friends."

3. Jokic was a second-round draft pick. When it happened in 2014, ESPN went to break. He was drafted during a Taco Bell commercial.

4. He was once injured off the court, suffering wrist inflammation from signing too many autographs.

5. He used to drink three liters of Coke a day, but he quit on his flight to Denver.

6. Jokic, 29, has been with his wife, Natalija, since they were teenagers. They got married in 2020 and have a daughter, Ognjena.

7. A sports agent discovered Jokic in a newspaper.

8. He ties his wedding ring into his shoes for games.

9. Jokic and his wife are from Sombor, Serbia. He goes back home often and loves traditional fish stew, according to the Denver Post. He played for the Serbian National Team in the 2016 Summer Olympics. He wants to return to Serbia when his time in the NBA ends: "After my career is over, I'm gonna go back there," Jokic told Bleacher Report. "It's super slow—not too much going on—but you have everything. You have a canal, nature; you can get peace of mind outside the city. I just like to be someplace where I know how to drive a car without navigation. How I say, no place like home? Something like that." 

10. He says Denver reminds him of his hometown. He told SLAM: "...my brothers came with me and my girlfriend came with me so we tried to make our home here and not allow all the different things to bother us. I actually like Denver as a city—it reminds me a little of my hometown in Serbia because I like nature, mountains, rivers and trees."

11. He has loved horses since he was a kid. He told SLAM he did competitive horse racing as a teenager, and he now owns several. Jokic even accepted one of his MVP awards at his stable in Serbia (the story of how the trophy got to Serbia is pretty great). His love of horses also inspired Denver Nuggets fans to raise money for the Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center.

12. He used to watch NBA games on YouTube as a teenager.

13. There's a picture of him in a Denver Nuggets shirt taken when he was a little kid.


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