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Report: Nikola Jokic will not participate in Eurobasket

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Basketball - Olympics: Day 12 Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Eurohoops.net is reporting that Nikola Jokic will not be joining his Serbian countrymen for Eurobasket later this summer.

Nikola Jokic met with Serbia national team head coach Sasa Djordjevic and announced him that he won’t participate in the EuroBasket.

Jokic’s decision mainly has to do with the player’s preference to dedicate offseason to individual workouts in order to join the Nuggets even more improved next season.

This decision isn’t too surprising since Jokic has had a pretty rigorous schedule over the last few seasons. He followed up his rookie season with an incredible run in the 2016 Olympics in Rio and then went straight back to Denver for his sophomore season. Jokic had a breakout year for Denver, averaging 16.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 4.9 assists and leading all centers in ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus. He was the team’s most impactful player and has solidified himself as the cornerstone piece of the team for years to come.

Despite his success with the Nuggets, Jokic showed signs of mental and physical fatigue toward the end of the season. He even told reporters that he was exhausted after a string of poor performances following all-star weekend and speculation began to arise that he could skip out on national team obligations this summer. Serbian fans in particular are very passionate about their national team and somewhat unforgiving of players when they skip out. As some of the site’s Serbian readers explain:

Clearly, this was not an easy decision for Jokic and there is likely to be some intense backlash from his most prized fans: Serbians. Many have argued that he entered camp last season in the best shape of his life, following a few months with the Serbian national team.

Still, it seems wise to me that he skips this summer and focuses on improving his body. Not just getting in good condition, but adding strength. At 22 years old, Jokic will likely get several more chances to compete with the Serbian team in the future.

Poll

Do you think Jokic skipping Eurobasket was the right call?

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    I am Serbian and I say Yes
    (169 votes)
  • 23%
    I am Serbian and I say No
    (178 votes)
  • 46%
    I am not Serbian, and I say Yes
    (358 votes)
  • 7%
    I am not Serbian, and I say No
    (57 votes)
762 votes total Vote Now