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Nikola Jokic's upbringing: in his own words

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Nikola Jokic penned an article in the Player's Tribune talking about his early love of horse racing and his basketball journey to America

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

"When YouTube came out when I was like 15, I watched Magic because of his passing, and Hakeem because of his post moves, and Jordan because he is Jordan."

That's Denver Nuggets big man and Rookie of the Year candidate Nikola Jokic talking about his early experiences in basketball in this great article in the Player's Tribune.  He runs down his well-documented late growth spurt, his early love of racing horses, and his experiences in Euroleague.  The stilted English means it was either dictated to someone or penned by him personally, but it's not a ghost article as some players have been accused of.  Those are his experiences in his words, and I love them all the more for it.

It's also an interesting way to get his name out into league conversation and humanize himself a bit for people who have never seen him in a nationally televised game.  He made Zach Lowe's list of Marc Gasol All-Stars and was second in Kevin Pelton's Rookie of the Year list but as Lowe himself has stated in various forms, if you aren't an NBA nerd or a Nuggets fanatic you probably don't know his name. Opposing commentators can't get his name right and talk radio hosts in his own town butcher it as well.

This was a really intriguing article to get his name out there and get people to understand his story.  I'm in favor of anything that puts Denver players on a national stage, but I was very surprised to see this article by him and about him.  He would not have been my pick of current Nuggets to do something like this, but I think it's tremendous.

Check it out!