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Here’s to you Nikola Jokic

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Happy 25th birthday to the Joker!

69th NBA All-Star Game Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Denver Nuggets franchise was mired in mediocrity in the transition from Carmelo Anthony as they awaited the next great name that would allow their franchise to transcend to the next level. For five and a half years, the fans waited to see the next face of the Denver franchise, and oh what a face it was.

FIT Clinic with Nikola Jokic Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Well, Nikola Jokic, you’re turning 25 today, although it seems you’ve been around much longer than that to the rest of us. You’re finally able to rent a car, and there isn’t a ton else that we have going on. However, as one of the five to 10 best players in the NBA, you don’t really have to worry about that other stuff. We’re here to celebrate nothing but you on this wonderful day.

You’ve revolutionized the way the center position is played with your ability to whip passes around in ways that we haven’t seen in a long, long time. Like a whirling dervish operating in the center of the floor, cutters and shooters are constantly moving waiting for the ball to be spit out to them from the big, white blur in front of them.

The traditional center was being phased out right as you were beginning your career in the NBA, and you could have easily been swept out and bounced down into a role on the bench. Instead, you used your unique skillset to your advantage, and you have asserted your dominance as the best center in the NBA. Your abilities stopped an NBA movement in its tracks.

The talent doesn’t stop at just the passing, although you are one of the best in the NBA in what you do. Your ability to score is incredible, and you’re extremely efficient while you do it. You’ve shot below 50 percent just one season in your career when you shot 49.9 percent. A down year for you is a good year for everyone else. You’ve fully learned the ability to utilize your size to your advantage, and it’s a glorious sight when you assert your will over whichever opponent stands before you.

Well, Mr. Jokic, I don’t think I need to inflate your sense of self any more than I need to. Everyone that’s here understands your excellence and the trajectory that you’re on. You have the opportunity to go down as the greatest Nugget in history along with being one of the best centers of all time. You’re just 25, and you’ve still got a long way to go. While Ryan Blackburn is usually the Big Stiff, I think he might hand over the title for a day.