Charles Barkley simply needs to understand the ‘greatness’ of Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic: ‘I like this child’

Denver Nuggets heart Nikola Jokic has gained back-to-back MVP’s, and he’s vying to turn into simply the third NBA participant to win the award in three consecutive years. 

And whereas Jokic will greater than possible fall wanting the achievement – Philadelphia 76ers huge man Joel Embiid is the favourite to take dwelling the award – Jokic has a a lot larger purpose in thoughts. 

Nikola Jokic plays against the Suns in the playoffs

Nikola Jokic of the Nuggets celebrates a shot conversion in opposition to the Phoenix Suns at Ball Arena in Denver on Monday, May 1, 2023. (AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post through Getty Images)

Jokic has led the Nuggets to a 2-0 collection lead over the Phoenix Suns within the second spherical of the NBA Playoffs, placing on a present Monday night time in Denver with 39 factors, 16 rebounds, and 5 assists. 


Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley was in awe after the efficiency, imploring followers of the sport to understand what Jokic was doing on the ground. 

“I simply have to inform individuals, man, let’s get pleasure from greatness watching this Joker play,” Barkley stated after the sport. “I imply, he ain’t flashy. He looks as if an awesome individual. I don’t suppose I’ve met him in individual earlier than. But man, simply admire greatness like we appreciated Steph [Curry] yesterday. 

“I like this child, watching him play basketball,” Barkley continued. 

Charles Barkley during the national championship

Charles Barkley on air earlier than the NCAA Final Four championship sport between the Connecticut Huskies and the San Diego State Aztecs on April 3, 2023, in Houston. (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

In a sport the place co-stars Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. struggled, Jokic took over offensively, taking 30 pictures in a 97-87 win. 

“I like an aggressive Nikola Jokic,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone stated.

“Nikola’s an MVP for a motive,” Malone stated. “He can take over a sport. He can beat you in plenty of methods…. I like a man who’s attending to the basket, imposing his will upon the opposite workforce. And that fourth quarter, man, 14 factors for that workforce, 28% from the sphere, 0-for-9 from 3?”

Embiid appeared to overhaul Jokic within the MVP race on the finish of the NBA’s common season, regardless of Jokic main Denver to a 53-29 document and the prime seed within the Western Conference. 

Nikola Jokic plays the Suns in the playoffs

Nikola Jokic of the Nuggets gestures in the course of the Phoenix Suns sport at Ball Arena in Denver on Monday, May 1, 2023. (AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post through Getty Images)

The MVP award might be introduced Tuesday night time. 

“If he wins, it, we might be celebrating and really comfortable for him as a result of it’d be an enormous accomplishment – three years in a row. Only a couple of guys in NBA historical past have executed that,” Malone stated. “If he doesn’t win it, I’m nonetheless gonna give him a hug and inform him he’s the MVP in my eyes.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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