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Nikola Jokic interview: Jokic discusses expectations for this season, team chemistry, and more

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In a (not so) surprising twist, Jokic cares more about team success than any personal goals he may be able to reach.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Denver Nuggets Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Nikola Jokic had a great conversation with the Media today, and many interesting topics were brought up. Jokic talked at length about the team’s expectations for this season, the difficulty of finishing last season so close to making the playoffs, and his thoughts on Gary Harris coming to Sombor for Basketball Without Borders. Check out the audio below to hear it all.

On expectations for the team”

“I think if we don’t make the playoffs, it won’t be a good season...We need to make the playoffs.”

On what his focus was this offseason:

Jokic feels as though he’s in the best shape of his life right now and that he thinks he did a “really good job” this summer. He specifically mentions the fact that he ran “thousands” of sprints in the offseason and that he’s “bigger, better, stronger” than before.

On his personal goals and being a possible all-star this season:

He stated that he has shown that he can play at a really high level, and while he said that he may be able to be an all-star, that’s not his main goal. Instead, he’s going to think about the playoffs.

On the feeling of missing the playoffs last season:

Jokic states that he was upset at the tough ending to last season, especially while watching the playoffs. Jokic even opines that the Nuggets were better than a couple of teams that made the playoffs last season.

On team chemistry and why they should look at the 2011 Dallas Mavericks as an example:

Jokic points to the Dallas team that won a title in 2011 as a team to look at to model themselves after, as they did not have a “Superteam” but still won the title. He goes on to say that maybe they need to be like that team.

On Isaiah Thomas and his potential with the team:

He says that they know what Thomas is capable of by looking at what he did in Boston, as basketball “has never seen that before” with a player his size. He says that Thomas is keeping the players together in the locker room and that he’s glad he’s assumed that role for them.

On if his contract is going to change him:

To nobody’s surprise, Jokic says he’s going to be the same person as before. On why money hasn’t changed him, he says it’s about doing the same things that he did to get him in this position.

On Gary Harris coming to Sombor for Basketball Without Borders:

Jokic commended Harris for being the first American player to come to Sombor and that it says a lot about him as a teammate and his open-mindedness.

On the opinion of Serbians that Gary Harris plays like a Serbian:

Jokic says this comparison probably comes from Harris passing the ball, as you need to play team basketball in Serbia.