You’ve been warned, NBA.
Nikola Jokic returned to practice on Thursday looking noticeably thinner than he was in March. At that point, he had already dropped 25-30 pounds since the beginning of the season, according to Coach Malone and all of our eyeballs. Apparently, he wasn’t done transforming his physique.
Nikola Jokic with a Kevin Love level glow up getting thin and improving his style is not something anyone could have expected during quarantine lol pic.twitter.com/quKlQQ7OSR— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) June 11, 2020
Perhaps the Svelte Serb achieved this dramatic weight loss in just a couple of months because The Cheesecake Factory (his favorite restaurant) has been closed due to COVID-19. Or maybe Jokic decided to give video games a rest for a few months while he waits on the arrival of the new PS5. Or maybe he decided it was time to get more agile so he can chase Anthony Davis around the court if the Nuggets face the prohibitive favorites in the playoffs.
Whatever the reason, not everyone is convinced Jokic’s leaner frame will actually help him be a better basketball player. That’s right Nuggets fans—statements like these are actually being said right now in public forums by NBA pundits:
I’m worried Jokic is too skinny now— Zach Harper (@talkhoops) June 11, 2020
So yeah, Jokic is now too skinny and I predict bad things. Gonna be a fun podcast tonight.— Gordon Gross (@GMoneyNuggs) June 11, 2020
Jokic will ABSOLUTELY regret getting skinny. Some guys just need to be fat— KFC (@KFCBarstool) June 11, 2020
What Jokic’s slimmed figure will mean when the NBA resumes is anyone’s guess. Less weight should mean better stamina and probably a more reliable outside shot, especially later in games and in a deep playoff run. But Jokic may sacrifice some of his ability to muscle through the lane and block out on the boards. Then again, it’s hard to tell at this point whether he replaced some of that doughiness with muscle mass.
We know that at least one teammate, Jamal Murray, is on the Skinny Jokic Train. Murray made some waves a few days ago when he stated that when he and Jokic are playing their best, “We don’t think there is a team that can beat us in a seven-game series.” He also reported that the Nuggets star duo had been working out in Denver since the quarantine started and “know we can go win the title.”
Will they? We’ll find out beginning July 31. In the meantime, we’ll see if Jokic decides to keep the weight off or if he puts a few pounds back on in an effort to achieve his own optimal playing weight. Either way, this Nuggets fan is happy that Jokic didn’t gain weight during a difficult period of isolation when it would have been very easy to lose focus. Perhaps this Nuggets young core is maturing before our eyes.