NUGGETS

Nikola Jokic is on Serbia’s roster for the Paris Olympics

Jun 10, 2024, 11:16 AM

Despite doubt after the Denver Nuggets season ended and as recently as this weekend, it appears that NBA MVP Nikola Jokic will play for his home country of Serbia at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Jokic pulled out of last year’s World Cup after the Nuggets long summer of winning a title. Serbia got the Silver, losing to Germany in the title contest. This year with an early Nuggets exit the big man will get back on the court in just two weeks from Monday, when Serbia begins training camp on June 24. Jokic is one of 16 of his countrymen to be selected to the roster which will be shaved to 12 when the crew heads to the Olympics, the Serbia Basketball Federation announced that group on Monday.

That group includes five NBA players including the NBA, Bogdan Bogdanović, Nikola Jovic, Vasilije Micić and Aleksej Pokuševski as well as big-named Serbia stars that play in Europe.

Before going to the Olympics the team has friendlies on July 5th and July 7th against the Netherlands and Turkey, then they head to France for an exhibition on July 12th. Serbia also has practice games with Australia on July 16th and Team USA on July 17th in Abu Dhabi and then the team comes home for a matchup with Japan on July 21st at Belgrade Arena.

Serbia will be in Group C for the Olympics with Team USA, South Sudan and the winner of the qualifier in Puerto Rico. The top two teams from each group advance and the first game for both Serbia and USA is against each other on Sunday, July 28.

Jokic has represented Serbia a few times, most notably very early in his career at the 2016 Summer Olympics where he finished with a silver medal. Jokic also played for the 2019 World Cup squad. But he was a different player and in a different role in those years, averaging just 10.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 22.6 minutes of action over those 16 games. Over his last four regular seasons in the NBA where he’s earned three MVPs and a Finals MVP, Jokic is averaging 26.1 points, 12.2 rebounds and 8.7 assists in 34 minutes a night.

The last time Jokic played for Serbia was in the summer of 2022, when he helped the group qualify for that World Cup last summer. Jokic was the star version of himself, going for 29 points on 11-of-16 shooting with eight rebounds and six assists in an overtime win against Giannis Antetokounmpo and Greece.

Jokic could be one of three Nuggets to play in the Olympics with Jamal Murray expected to play for Canada and Vlatko Cancar on the Slovenian roster as they attempt to qualify for the competition.

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