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Nikola Jokic opts not to play for Serbian national team at Olympics

The Denver Nuggets star announced Wednesday that he will instead give his body time to recover from recent NBA season.

DENVER — Denver Nuggets star and NBA MVP Nikola Jokic announced Wednesday that he will not be playing for the Serbian national team at the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

Jokic cited the need to give his body proper time to recover after a grueling NBA season to Serbian news outlet Tanjug News.

He played in all 72 regular-season games for Denver, as well as every playoff game -- clocking a total 2,488 minutes throughout the 2020-21 season.

"To my great regret, this is the moment when I have to announce that despite my great desire, I am not able to play for the national team," Jokic told Tanjug News.

"Simply, the condition of my body requires a longer absence from the field for recovery. That is the attitude and suggestion of the club and one inevitably that I have to accept. I am convinced that guys without me have the quality to make a result that will bring us all a lot of joy."

Earlier this month, Jokic became the first Denver Nuggets player to be named the league MVP.

Denver's season came to an end Sunday in a Game 4 loss to the Phoenix Suns in the second round of the playoffs.

>>Video above: Nuggets' Jokic earns MVP

RELATED: Jokic leads All-NBA team; MVP runner-up Embiid 2nd-team pick

RELATED: Nuggets lament injury-riddled season that came up short

RELATED: Nikola Jokić named first league MVP in Nuggets history

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