July 15, 2024

Nikola Jokic Shares His Preferred European Starting Five, Excluding Giannis or Gobert

During the All-Star weekend, Nikola Jokic was tasked with selecting an All-Star starting lineup composed solely of European players, and his choices sparked some intrigue.

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Jokic opted for Luka Doncic, both Bogdan Bogdanovic (Bojan and Bogdan), Dario Saric, and Nikola Vucevic,” as his ideal lineup.

This lineup leans heavily toward Eastern European players, which may explain the absence of notable French stars like Rudy Gobert and Victor Wembanyama. Surprisingly, Jokic’s lineup did not include Giannis Antetokounmpo, a decision that raised eyebrows.

Antetokounmpo, widely regarded as the second-best European player in the NBA after Jokic, has been delivering remarkable performances for the Milwaukee Bucks, averaging 30.8 points, 11.2 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game this season.

While Jokic’s exclusion of Giannis may have been a spontaneous decision, it’s worth noting that he typically refrains from making disparaging remarks about other players. Moreover, his selection may have been influenced by personal relationships, as exemplified by his close bond with Bogdan Bogdanovic, a teammate on the Serbian national team.

Other notable omissions from Jokic’s lineup include Domantas Sabonis, Kristaps Porzingis, and Lauri Markkanen.

Proposed Best European Starting Five

Given the wealth of talent among European NBA players, assembling the ultimate starting five presents a challenge. However, certain players are undeniable choices.

Jokic would undoubtedly hold the center position, while Doncic would assume point guard duties, and Giannis would secure one of the forward spots. This leaves two remaining slots, one of which would likely go to Sabonis, boasting impressive averages of 20.1 points, 13.2 rebounds, and 8.3 assists per game.

Despite Sabonis’ potential redundancy alongside Jokic, their combined skill sets promise productivity. The shooting guard position could be filled by Bogdan Bogdanovic, whose three-point shooting prowess would complement the lineup’s dynamics.

Alternatively, Bojan Bogdanovic or Markkanen could be considered to add size to the starting five.

Nikola Jokic’s Top Five NBA Players, Excluding Himself

In a separate instance, Jokic was asked to name his top five NBA players, excluding himself. He listed Joel Embiid, Luka Doncic, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and also mentioned the likes of Jayson Tatum, Anthony Edwards, and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Jokic acknowledged the difficulty in compiling such a list, highlighting the subjective nature of player rankings. Nevertheless, his inclusion of Antetokounmpo underscores the respect he holds for the six-time All-Star.

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